Vanished Article – September 10, 2000

18 Jun

Posted with permission. Courtesy The Province

Vanished — without a trace: Two years ago last Tuesday, 19-year-old Brianne Wolgram simply disappeared

The Province
Sun Sep 10 2000
Page: A17
Section: News
Byline: Wendy McLellan and Chris Montgomery
Source: The Province

Brianne Wolgram left her house in jeans and a white T-shirt as if she were heading out for a Saturday night with friends.

Two years later, the Revelstoke teenager is still not home, and her family is desperate to find her.

“There has been absolutely nothing for two years,” said her mom, Sheryl Wolgram, who works as a house cleaner to stop herself from thinking too much.

“We still keep going over it,” she says, “wondering what could have happened.

“I don’t think she did this deliberately. We know our daughter.”

On Sept. 5, 1998, Brianne, who was then 19, spent the day working at the local Super Save gas station.

She was tired that day — she had worked a night shift at McDonald’s the day before, then stayed out late with her girlfriends.

Some of the staff at the gas station told police Brianne was upset during her shift and seemed quieter than usual, and at some point in the afternoon, Brianne broke down in tears.

“She had a little cry and then she got over it,” Sheryl said. “They told her she could go home, but she wanted to keep working.”

When Brianne got home from work at 7 p.m. that evening, she looked tired and told her mom she was going to take a nap.

The family had been invited to a barbecue, but Brianne decided to stay home.

At 9 p.m., Brianne called her best friend, Kristi Cain. Brianne said she would pick up Cain when Cain finished work at 11:15 p.m., and then they could hang out with their friends for a while.

At 11:20, Cain called Brianne’s house to find out why her friend was late. Brianne wasn’t home.

“She’s my best friend. If she wasn’t going to make it to pick me up, she would have called,” said Cain.

Brianne never called Cain and she has not been seen since that Saturday night. Some witnesses said Brianne was outside the local 7-Eleven talking to three girls before 11:30 p.m.

One man said he followed Brianne’s car on the way out of town. He said there were three passengers inside.

Four days later, Brianne’s black 1989 Acura Integra was found abandoned 30 kilometres south of town on a narrow, twisting gravel logging road. The car had hit a tree on a right-angle bend in the road and suffered minor damage.

Inside the glove compartment, police found Brianne’s driver’s licence, bank card and more than $200 cash.

Family, friends and search and rescue teams spent weeks scouring the area. Tracking dogs followed Brianne’s scent at the car, but the trail vanished three metres up the road.

A hunter told police he saw a teenage girl in shorts walking on the road about 8 a.m. Sunday. The three girls who were last seen with Brianne have never come forward.

Brianne’s mom worries that the police aren’t doing enough to find her daughter. Some people have suggested Brianne may have run away or killed herself, but Wolgram says her daughter had her own car and bank account — she didn’t have to run away. And Brianne was not suicidal.

Brianne was working two jobs to save money to go to college to train as a pharmacist’s assistant.

She was close to her two older brothers and her mom and dad, and had lived in Revelstoke her whole life. Only a few months before she disappeared, Brianne had gone with her older brother to buy her first car.

None of her things was missing from the house. Her toothbrush was in the bathroom. Her bank account was untouched.

“It was just like she’d gone out for the night and she’d be back later. She was supposed to work the next day,” said Wolgram, 50.

“You’d think, after two years, something would have been found. I can’t even believe she was up on that road — there’s nothing out there.”

Brianne’s friends started a blue- ribbon campaign to raise money for the search and a reward.

There is now a $20,000 reward for information on Brianne or the three girls last seen with her at the 7-Eleven.

Last year, on the anniversary of Brianne’s disappearance, her family and friends drove up the logging road and tied blue ribbons to trees near where her car was found. This year, they plan to do it again.

“I just seems like yesterday. Every day, I keep praying she’ll just walk in the door, then other times I try to steel myself to never see her again,” Wolgram said.

“I don’t know if she’s alive. I hope she’s OK.

“I’ve started to pack some of her things away, but they are all ready to be put back again.”

Cain said her friend would never leave her family this way.

“It just doesn’t add up,” said Cain, 21.

“Nothing makes sense. If something was going on, she would have told me.”

The two girls have been friends since Grade 3, best friends since high school. They talked on the phone every day.

“I hope she’s alive — I’ll never give up hope,” said Cain.

Anyone with information on this case can call the toll-free tip line: 1-800-661-6160.

Profile of Brianne Wolgram.

Illustration:
• Color Photo: Angela Dingsdale, for The Province / Sheryl Wolgram gazes at a photograph of her daughter Brianne, who disappeared from the Revelstoke area on the night of Sept. 5, 1998. There is now a $20,000 reward for information on Brianne.
• Color Photo: (Article on Brianne Wolgram disappearance)

Edition: Final
Story Type: Profile
Length: 872 words
Idnumber: 200009100140

Thank you to Sandra and Barb (PNG News Research Library).

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