As tips slow down and leads are exhausted, Barrie police are now offering a reward of up to $50,000 for any information that might help locate Autumn Shaganash, who went missing last summer.
"No detail is too small," Barrie Police Chief Rich Johnston told reporters at a news conference Thursday announcing the reward money.
Shaganash's family last saw her on the evening of June 9, when she left her sister's house around 9 p.m. saying she was going to see a friend.
"It's been almost eight months since we last saw or heard from her and every day has been difficult," Autumn's sister Lili Moore told reporters Thursday in a prepared statement.
Autumn Shaganash's sister Lili Moore read a prepared statement Thursday, thanking police for offering a reward. (CBC)
Missing since June
The last confirmed sighting of the then-26-year-old woman came on the morning of June 10, in video later shared with police. It showed Shaganash and a friend walking south on Sunnidale Road near Letitia Street around 10 a.m., shortly after Shaganash had texted her sister asking to be picked up.
Last summer, Moore said she had tried to respond, but her texts wouldn't go through.
Shaganash was wearing a black hoodie, tan leggings, Puma sandals and a purse, police said. She is described as an Indigenous woman, 5 feet 3 inches tall and 130 pounds.
She was officially reported missing June 12.
Police asking public for help
Sgt. Brett Carlton is overseeing the Barrie Police major crime unit investigation into the missing persons case of Autumn Shaganash. He says any information could help move the investigation forward. (CBC)
Police said Thursday that the number of tips has slowed considerably, and they have exhausted leads all over southern Ontario and in some northern parts of the province.
"Over the past six months, investigators have been using every resource available in attempting to locate Autumn," said Sgt. Brett Carlton, who is overseeing the Barrie Police major crime unit investigation.
"That is why we're here today," he said.
"If you saw something, heard something, read something, even if you think it's small, I ask you and urge you to reach out."
Shaganash's family was critical of initial police efforts in the days after she was reported missing, but on Wednesday Autumn's sister thanked Barrie Police for its investigative work and for offering a reward.
Police didn't provide any new information Wednesday about a possible suspect or motive. Last year, police had said they suspected human trafficking might be behind the disappearance.
Reward money isn't common in investigations but police Chief Johnston said it has been used in the past.
"We don't take anything off the table in terms of how far and how much effort we're putting in to locate individuals," he said.
"We are confident that someone has the information we need to reunite Autumn with her family."
Anyone with any information on Shaganash and her whereabouts is asked to contact the major crime unit's tip line at 705-525-7025, ext. 2160, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.