Yellowknife police say despite an exhaustive enquiry into 60-year-old Sladjana Petrovic’s disappearance on December 26, the trail ultimately remains cold two weeks later.
RCMP say Petrovic was last spotted at around 3:40pm on Boxing Day, leaving her apartment on 53 Street bound for Franklin Avenue. However, after she appeared on 53 Street camera footage across from the YK1 office building, what happened next is unknown.
Yellowknife detachment commander Insp Alex Laporte said on Friday he believes Petrovic was headed toward Somba K’e Civic Plaza, but police have been unable to confirm that.
Laporte said neither five days of downtown sweeps by search and rescue teams, nor a search of Tin Can Hill prompted by a tip about clothing seen on December 27, brought new leads.
Police have extended their appeal to Alberta news organizations and are working with Calgary and Edmonton police forces, Laporte said. One of Petrovic’s friends, Elizabeta Alaga, told reporters at a January 3 news conference she knew of Petrovic having gone missing once before – for a few days in the Edmonton area.
Yet if Petrovic left Yellowknife, which police have not ruled out, Laporte said she could not have left by air. “The investigators have worked with Interpol Ottawa, Interpol Belgrade, the RCMP liaison officer in Italy, and other foreign authorities to establish that Ms Petrovic did not possess a valid passport for either Canada or Serbia,” he said, “restricting international travel and the likelihood she would have left Canada.”
Airlines serving Yellowknife have confirmed Petrovic did not pass through the airport using another form of identity document, he added.
Police in northern Alberta have been alerted, Laporte said, “in the event that Ms Petrovic would travel by road from the Northwest Territories.”
RCMP said financial institutions have no record of activity involving her accounts since December 24.
According to police, Petrovic did not use social media nor own a cellphone of which they are aware. Laporte said no information of interest had come from enquiries about her home phone.
“This is very much an active investigation,” Laporte said, reiterating an appeal for public help. “Any pieces of information in relation to Sladjana leading up to her disappearance – any conversation, any observations, anything at this point – will be of value to the investigators.”
He paid tribute to officers and volunteers searching in Yellowknife’s recent cold weather, saying: “I must highlight the great work of the team supporting this investigation in very cold and treacherous weather conditions.”
Police described Petrovic as a Caucasian woman, 5 ft 7 in tall and 257 lbs, with shoulder-length salt-and-pepper hair and blue eyes. She was last seen wearing a dark blue jacket, pink or red shirt, dark pants, and running shoes.
While Laporte said nothing could be ruled out, police have no indication of foul play related to her disappearance.