EDMONTON – After 10 years, the disappearance of Stephanie Stewart is no closer to being solved. AUPE marks this sad anniversary with a renewed call for information leading to a resolution for her family and friends.
In 2006, Stephanie Stewart disappeared from her post at a lookout tower near Hinton while on duty as a fire spotter, a job she had held for 18 fire seasons. While the RCMP are treating the disappearance as a homicide, there have been no breaks in the case.
A $20,000 reward is available for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for Stewart’s disappearance. AUPE has contributed $10,000 to the reward, with the remainder from Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, the government ministry Stewart worked for.
Since Stewart’s disappearance, policies and training have changed for lookouts, who often work alone in isolated areas. Cabin doorframes and windows have been reinforced and locks installed, and brush has been cleared to increase lines of sight. Lookouts are trained in self-defense, are equipped with radios with panic buttons and silent personal locator beacons, and have covert radio codes that can be used to discretely indicate they are in distress.
“Stephanie’s disappearance might have improved safety for her coworkers, but it came at a high cost,” said AUPE president Guy Smith. “On this sad anniversary, we are asking anyone with information about Stephanie to please come forward. Her family, friends, and coworkers deserve answers.”
Anyone with information can call CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or the Hinton RCMP at 780-865-5544.
For more information:
Guy Smith, AUPE President: 780-265-2294
Vanessa Bjerreskov, AUPE Communications: 780-930-5202