The last time Lucy Johnson was seen was in Surrey, British Columbia was in 1961. At the time, Johnson was a 33-year-old local wife and mother. Once she vanished from her quaint home, suspicion quickly fell on her doting husband. Investigators thoroughly interviewed her husband in hopes of procuring clues concerning her whereabouts. Their initial suspicion grew because her husband, Marvin Johnson, only reported her disappearance to authorities in 1965 even though the young woman had gone missing 4 years earlier. The investigation and suspicion even led to an agreement which enabled officials to dig up Johnson’s yard in search of the young mother’s body.
Once search crews had thoroughly dug up the yard, questioned the neighbors and interrogated her husband, they acknowledged that they had no additional clues about the then-33-year-old mother’s disappearance. With no evidence to charge the husband, officials waited for evidence to surface.
Although the investigation never formally closed, no one had seen or heard from the woman since the early 1960s. Fast forward to 2013, as a newspaper from the Surrey area, the Surry Leader, runs a series on missing persons cases over the years. Johnson’s daughter followed the story and began to reignite the search for her mother.
Lucy Johnson’s daughter, Linda Evans, stated that she was about seven when her mother disappeared and was quite sure that she would never see her again. Once she reached adulthood and noticed the story on missing persons, she decided to pursue the matter herself.
Evans began paying for ad space in newspapers in Yukon, Canada after their local newspaper covered the 50-year mystery. She decided to run the ads in newspapers in Yukon after learning that her mother was born in Alaska. Yukon shares its border with the state of Alaska, and Evans thought it was worth a shot. She hoped that someone from the area might have known her mother, and may be able to produce facts for her to consider concerning the disappearance. The ad included information about Johnson’s date of birth, her grandparents’ names and an old photograph.
Evans told interviewers that she honestly thought her mother had died years ago. She assumed that if her mother was still living, she would have reached out and spoken with her family and, in particular, with her children.
Over time, Evans established missing person ads in newspapers around the Yukon area in northwestern Canada. Soon, a woman personally responded to the ad by stating that the specifics in the description seemed to match her own mother. After a short investigation, the woman who responded to the ad was identified to be correct in her assumption.
Lucy Johnson was living in Yukon, where she had given birth to an additional four children. When Evans received the news, she was understandably shocked. As the police called Evans and told her that her mother had been found and was safe, she felt compelled to take credit for the find. She felt strongly that investigators had failed in their attempts to locate her and had forced Evans to take matters into her own hands.
According to a spokesman for the local police in Surrey, Evans found her mother because her timing was ideal. While Evans has yet to reunite with her mother, she states that the trip to Yukon is an exciting part of her future plans. She also states that she has a lot of questions for her mother and wants to understand why she disappeared so many years ago. Evans is now fifty years old herself. She used the Internet to place the ads that lead her back to her mother.
Once the local neighbors and residents of the surrounding area found out about the news, Evans was met with some criticism. The investigation and the lack of evidence had become well-known throughout Surrey. Many residents felt that Johnson had caused a lot of grief with her disappearance. The case had become widely recognizes as the oldest missing person case in Surrey’s history.
Adamant critics urged Evans to avoid meeting her mother altogether, as they felt that Johnson had had no reasonable reason to leave her family behind.