Janine Vautour, Makayla Chang’s mother, samples icing while dishing out birthday cake Friday at Maffeo Sutton Park on what would have been Chang’s 18th birthday. GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin

Community remembers Makayla Chang on what should have been her 18th birthday

Murdered teen’s family and friends still hoping for answers and closure

On Makayla Chang’s birthday, the community sang her Happy Birthday, had cake, and made a wish for justice.

A celebration was held Friday evening at Maffeo Sutton Park for Chang on what would have been her 18th birthday. The teen went missing two weeks after her 16th birthday in 2017 and was found murdered that spring.

“Not knowing anything is frustrating; it’s really frustrating,” said Kerry Chang, Makayla’s father. “We know absolutely nothing [more] than we did two years ago. We really don’t know anything whatsoever, not where she was found, how she died.”

Kerry Chang said “somebody out there knows something” and that was motivation to open her birthday up to the community and keep her case in the public eye.

“It’s been a long two years and we’re still looking for some closure,” he said.

He’s also concerned that the person responsible could cause further harm.

“I’ve never heard of anyone who harms children who just harms one and that’s what’s bothersome to me,” he said. “They’re walking amongst us and it’s scary.”

About 150 people were at the park Friday and signed a card for Makayla, flipped through a photo album and watched a slide show of happy memories of her with family and friends, taking selfies, dancing, and trying to eat a spoonful of cinnamon.

Lily Morice, who was friends with Makayla, said there are a lot of people in the community who cared about her. Morice said she doesn’t hear much about how the investigation is going and hopes the authorities are working as hard as they possibly can.

“I just hope someone figures it out,” she said. “It’s time for her to let her rest easy instead of trying to figure out what happened.”

She said Makayla always wanted to make other people feel good and had a rare ability to light up a room just by walking in. Morice said she loves her friend very much and misses her.

“She was an amazing person,” Morice said. “It should have been her birthday today – a birthday party, not to mourn.”

RELATED: Nanaimo youths creating mural in memory of Makayla Chang



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nanaimo firefighters’ burn fund video wins people’s choice award

Firefighters film gag video based on a burn camp water fight tradition

Designs come in for proposed student housing across from NDSS

City of Nanaimo reviewing development permit application for 160-unit Wakesiah complex

Nanaimo cat with a disability can still teach foster kittens ‘how to cat’

Life goes from sour to sweet for Lemon, an adopted cat from B.C. SPCA Nanaimo

Protesters in Nanaimo call for greater protection of old-growth forests

Extinction Rebellion organized rally at Maffeo Sutton Park on Saturday afternoon

Nanaimo River Road ‘hotspot’ for theft from vehicles, says RCMP

Over dozen reports of theft in past month, say Nanaimo RCMP, many victims were headed to backcountry

Nanaimo cat with a disability can still teach foster kittens ‘how to cat’

Life goes from sour to sweet for Lemon, an adopted cat from B.C. SPCA Nanaimo

1 year since a B.C. teen died in a skate park, his family still waiting for charges

Carson Crimeni’s final moments were broadcast on social media

NHL playoffs: Canucks to meet St. Louis Blues in Round 1

Vancouver takes on defending champs beginning Wednesday

Vancouver Island team takes on wacky challenges of world’s largest scavenger hunt

Greatest International Scavenger Hunt taking place Aug. 1-8

Vancouver Island films sought for One Minute Mobile Movie Challenge

All entries to be screened online in virtual film festival

Drive-in movie screenings next week will benefit Nanaimo food bank

Fortis B.C. and Fresh Air Cinema holding fundraisers at Woodgrove Centre

City to begin Metral Drive ‘complete street’ roadwork in August

Phase 1 includes seven raised intersections, sidewalks, cycle track

Nanaimo RCMP’s space needs prompt city to assess its properties in that area

Council approves $120,000 to develop real estate strategy for ‘civic precinct’ in the Old City Quarter

Simon Cowell breaks his back falling from electric bike

Incident happened at his home in California

Most Read