Search for missing woman takes flight
Last Updated Jul 19 2005
A man from The Pas is hoping a trip to South America will provide some clues about what happened to Teena Timm, who went missing in Bolivia last month.
Timm, 32, left to backpack through South America in March, after taking a buy-out package from her job at Manitoba Lotteries. She stayed in regular contact with family and friends until June 15.
A police investigation shows no activity on Timm's bank account, credit card or email account for more than a month.
Argentine officials have confirmed a person using Timm's passport crossed the border into Argentina on July 5, nearly three weeks after she had any contact with family or friends in Winnipeg. It's not clear if Timm was the person using the passport.
Ralph McLean, a close friend of Timm, is flying to Argentina on Tuesday in the hopes of locating her.
"I'm only doing what I know she would do for me. I told her before she left, she has to communicate – e-mail, phone, postcards, something," he said.
Although the Canadian Foreign Affairs department is investigating, McLean said he feels compelled to do more.
"Foreign Affairs is doing quite a bit for us, but I feel this is the best way possible for me to assist, rather than to just sit back at home and help out on the internet and with e-mails. If she is hurt or needs assistance, this is the best way I can help her," he said.
"I'm doing what Foreign Affairs probably isn't doing or maybe cannot do, which is get into the backpackers' circles, because backpackers don't watch TV. They don't tend to read the newspapers. They tend to travel in their own little groups."
McLean will travel the same way Timm did – on the cheap and in the rough. Timm's mother, former Winnipeg city councillor Shirley Timm Rudolph, is grateful he's willing to undertake the challenge.
"The extreme travel is something my family wouldn't be able to do. Physically I wouldn't be able to accomplish it," she said. "There's no doubt, Ralph is an angel of mercy for our family."
Meanwhile, Timm Rudolph is trying to set up a fund to accept donations for the search effort.