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



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