After almost two and a half weeks as a missing person, there is still no sign at all whatsoever of Yellowknife resident Sladjana Petrovic.
The 60-year-old woman, originally from Serbia, hasn’t been seen or heard from since Boxing Day, December 26.
That’s despite extensive ground and aerial searches conducted by Yellowknife RCMP officers, the Civil Air Search and Rescue Association (CASARA) and Yellowknife Ground Search and Rescue (YKGSAR) members.
Mounties held a media teleconference on Friday to update their investigation but there really wasn’t much to say.
They do say that the active ground search has been suspended, at least for the time being, in part due to the extremely cold temperatures.
There was a reported sighting at a business in northern Alberta, but Inspector Alex Laporte, commander of the Yellowknife detachment. said after viewing closed circuit images from the business, investigators are confident that it is not Sladjana.
She was reportedly last seen on December 26 in the downtown area.
Sladjana Petrovic, is described as Caucasian, 5’7” / 170 cm, 257 lbs / 117 kg, heavy build, shoulder length “salt and pepper” hair and blue eyes.
Sladjana was last seen at approximately 3:40 pm on December 26, leaving her apartment building on 53 St and walking towards Franklin Avenue.
In the last image located by investigators, Sladjana is seen wearing a dark blue jacket, with light blue liner, a pink or red shirt, black or dark pants, and running shoes. She appears to be carrying a grey/black bag or purse. Sladjana was wearing the same clothes as previously described at the time of her disappearance.
The missing person investigation is being led by investigators with the Yellowknife RCMP General Investigative Section (GIS). They have been supported by the NT RCMP Police Dog Services, Yellowknife RCMP and resources from other units as required.
In earlier appeals from the RCMP, residents and businesses in the downtown area surrounding 53 Street were asked to review video footage from security cameras, “Nest” cams and vehicle dash cams, between the hours of 3 PM and midnight, December 26, 2019 and provide police with any sightings.
Residents in the downtown area have been requested to report anything that may appear unusual in their backyards and outbuildings.
Citizens have also been asked to bring forward any information, or contact with Sladjana, recent or in the past, to assist investigators of building a picture of where Sladjana may be.
“We cannot stress the importance of people bringing forward information, any information, on contact they may have had with Sladjana prior to her disappearance. No piece of information is too small for our investigators to follow up on” states Inspector Alex Laporte, Yellowknife RCMP Detachment Commander.
To date, investigators have canvassed the area surrounding the 53rd St apartment building, and following her direction of travel on 53rd St towards Franklin Avenue.
It is believed that she crossed Franklin Avenue heading towards Somba K’e Park.
It is there that the information ends, and further direction of travel is not known.
Members of YKGSAR and CASARA have continued the search in spite of challenging weather conditions, with wind chills dropping the temperature below -50 Celcius.
YKGSAR have proceeded to lead ground searches in the areas with the highest probability of locating a missing person, and in relation to the geographical information known on her residence, known direction of travel and locations frequented by Sladjana in her regular routines.
The missing person’s appeal for information has been shared with Alberta media, as Sladjana has been known to visit the communities of Calgary and Edmonton.
The information has also been shared with northern Alberta, should Sladjana be travelling from Yellowknife to Alberta on the road system.
RCMP are working with various provincial health authorities to verify any admissions or medical services that may have been required by Ms Petrovic since December 26, 2019.
Investigators have confirmed that Sladjana did not leave Yellowknife via air travel.
Mounties have further worked with INTERPOL, the International police agency in Ottawa and Belgrade, Serbia, as well as the RCMP International Liaison in Italy and foreign authorities to establish that Sladjana did not possess a valid passport from either Canada or Serbia, restricting her international travel.
Investigators continue to work with financial institutions and have confirmed that there has been no financial activity on her since December 24, 2019.
Nationally, RCMP are working with the National Centre for Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains (NCMPUR) to place the file on canadasmissing.ca website.
They are also working with NWT NU Crimes Stoppers to have Sladjana added to their missing web pages.
Mounties continue to communicate with Sladjana’s family abroad and her friends here in Yellowknife to keep them updated on the progress of the investigation.
Investigators have continued to work this investigation, following all leads, and gathering information and evidence. They renew their request for anyone, with any information on previous contact with Sladjana, to provide that information to Yellowknife RCMP at 867-669-1111.
“The RCMP continues to be concerned for Ms Petrovic’s well-being. We understand this is a challenging time for Sladjana’s family and friends, as they await word on their loved one. Our hearts go out to them at this difficult time. Please contact us if you have any information” states Inspector Alex Laporte, Yellowknife RCMP Detachment Commander.
The investigation continues, and police say they will continue to follow any new information.
Anyone with information on whereabouts of Sladjana Petrovic is asked to contact either Yellowknife RCMP at 867-669-1111 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS, nwtnutips.com, (click on “submit a web tip”) or text: nwtnutips to 274637.