VANCOUVER (CP) – RCMP and the parents of a missing Richmond, B.C., teenager are concerned there may be a satanic connection to her disappearance.
Josephine Shih, 16, vanished Jan. 25 with nothing but the clothes on her back and $1,200 cash from her parents home. “Please help us,” her father Steven begged during a news conference Thursday as her mother sat quietly beside him with tears streaming down her face. “She connected with some very strange websites (that gave) her the wrong idea.”
RCMP Cpl. Peter Thiessen said an examination of the family computer showed Josephine frequented Internet sites about satanic cults and corresponded in chat rooms.
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Thiessen said she may have been lured away by someone connected to the satanic websites.
“A number of things point that way,” Thiessen said. “We would love to be wrong, but we don’t know.”
He said there is real concern that some harm may come to the young woman, noting a case last year that had similar links.
“We’ve seen this in the past in other forms. Two people died,” he said, referring to last October’s disappearance of a Vancouver couple.
Rachel Adams and Mark Remple hanged themselves near Lions Bay, north of Vancouver. They were known to be involved in so-called goth culture.
“Frankly, to be honest with you, I don’t know the difference between satanic, goth, it’s all to me the same,” Thiessen said.
Her father said Josephine was a good student, but after the winter break at school her attitude changed and she wasn’t studying.
“My wife, she can’t sleep, we’re very worried about her,” he said.
The teen is five foot five and weighs about 165 pounds. She has a large scar on the back of her neck.
The Shih family moved to Canada from Taiwan seven years ago and also have a four-year-old daughter.
The family’s computer is with the RCMP technical crime unit where an expert is looking for links to where the teenager could be.
Thiessen said there was some indication the girl may have tried to cross into the United States, but she had no identification.
“Our officers have been working on it every day, all day . . . sending out information outside the province, the borders, the airlines, a wide variety of agencies are involved.”