It has now been four weeks since a Red Deer woman went missing and her family continues to desperately seek answers into her disappearance.
Lorie Joy Nichols, 49, was last seen on the morning of Feb. 23rd in Red Deer. Her husband, Greg Nichols reported her missing later that evening.
Lorie is described as 5’2” tall with a slender build. She has hazel eyes. She was last seen wearing a three-quarter length charcoal winter jacket with gray/black lace up winter boots, medium blue tight fitting jeans with discernible tears to the knees and thighs. She is believed to have a gray woolen loose fitting toque and an over shoulder dark green/black strapped bag with white and yellow lettering.
“There are two things to consider in my mind – I understand that Lorie left that day and I understand that she had been struggling in the week leading up to it – I could see some differences there – I could see she was in a low spot. One option that I keep going over is that she just didn’t think she could do this anymore and decided to walk away. The other thing I hate to consider is that she went for a break for one day, two days, and sought comfort or shelter with the wrong people,” said Greg. “As much as it hurts to say that, I’m very hopeful that she is well.”
As for Feb. 23rd, Greg said the day began like any other.
“On the morning of the 23rd I went to work a little earlier than I normally do. My youngest son Seth is 17 and he goes to Hunting Hills High School. He has epilepsy and learning difficulties. Lorie and Seth are very, very, very close,” said Greg, adding the pair have been married for 25 years. “She got him up and fed him breakfast, got him off to school and then apparently she travelled east of our place to Clearview to visit a lady named Fran she had befriended who she would see on a regular basis just to make sure Fran’s spirits were up and to chat. We spoke with Fran who said Lorie was disturbed that morning and almost couldn’t stay for whatever reason. The neighbours then saw Lorie come back to the house at 10 a.m. They did not see her leave again.”
Greg said Lorie did her normal routine around the house that morning which included making the beds, taking the garbage out, cleaning up and doing some laundry. “When she left the home she did not take any personal effects with her – no toiletries, no extra clothes – she basically walked out the door.”
There is concern for Lorie’s well-being as she has a history of difficulties with mental health as she has struggled with depression and anxiety.
“I feel that if she’s left and it’s gone on too long she is going to express worry and shame about having left her family, even if she finds a moment of clarity, I don’t know if she is confident or comfortable with how to come home,” said Greg. “I just want her to know that what has happened and where ever she has been and whatever she has done, it just simply does not matter to us. She is a part of our family and there is nothing that we couldn’t forgive and there is nothing that we couldn’t mend or heal.”
Greg is also offering a $5,000 reward for any information that directly relates to Lorie’s whereabouts.
Anyone with information on Lorie’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Red Deer RCMP at 403-343-5575 or Greg at 403-596-4127.