It’s the question that has haunted Estevan residents for nearly 16 years: what exactly happened to Courtney Struble?
Courtney vanished in the early morning hours of July 9, 2004, after watching a movie with friends at the Estevan Veterinary Clinic on the west edge of the city. Her friends offered her a ride home, but she declined, and opted to walk instead.
She was last seen at approximately 12:30 a.m. in the vicinity of Highway 39 and Woodlawn Avenue North (now Sister Roddy Road) in west Estevan.
The RCMP Historical Case Unit took over the investigation more than a decade ago, and has since been treating it as a homicide rather than a runaway. They have received leads, and have been in Estevan on numerous occasions, but nothing that would lead to an arrest.
Jessica Cantos with the Saskatchewan RCMP’s media relations said there has been no new information come forward to assist the investigators with the RCMP’s Major Crimes Unit at this time.
“This investigation continues to be an ongoing, open file and our officers continue to follow up on any information they receive,” said Cantos.
Meanwhile, Courtney’s friends and family members haven’t forgotten about her.
Courtney’s friend Nicole Burkholder posted a touching tribute Sunday evening in the Facebook group Help Us Find Courtney Jennelle Struble.
Burkholder said she thinks of all the things they have missed together, and now she misses her more than ever.
“I think of the person you would be today,” Burkholder wrote. “A part of me wishes to see you again wherever you may be, or to actually know what happened 16 years ago so we can have some closure.”
Burkholder wishes someone who knows something would come forward with the information. She also promised she will continue to share her memories of her friend until Courtney is found.
Courtney was five-foot-three and weighed between 110 and 125 pounds when she vanished. She had a birthmark on the nape of her neck, and a 1 1/2-inch scar on her left shin.
The night that she disappeared, Courtney was wearing a grey hoodie, blue jeans and running shoes.
Anyone with information can contact the RCMP or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.