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Concern grows for missing Ontario woman


UPDATE: Da Silva was found safe on Wednesday. You can find an updated story here.


The search continues for a missing Brantford, Ont. woman who hasn’t been seen since she left her job on Friday.

Eugenia Da Silva, who also goes by the name Jenny, works at Brock and Visser Funeral Home in Woodstock, Ont.

The 44-year-old funeral director’s disappearance is unusual, according to both her friends and coworkers.

“She left the normal time, around 5:00 or 5:10 [p.m.],” explained Pam Gerber, the funeral home’s co-owner. “She never made it home to Brantford. The security cameras were checked and she did leave the parking lot at the funeral home.”

Jenny in an undated photo. (Submitted: Lisa Palmer)

Stephanie Van De Ven, a close friend of 40 years, said Jenny would have been headed home to her husband and two daughters.

“Somewhere about 15 minutes away from work, on Concession 4 near Burford, is where she was last heard from,” Van de Ven explained. “She had sent a text message to her daughter and police tracked her cellphone to this general area.”

The Brantford Police Service said she was last seen in Woodstock wearing business clothes, including a navy blazer and skirt, a white shirt and black wedge heels. She’s described as approximately 5’1” with a thin build, long curly brown hair, brown eyes and tanned skin.

Jenny may be driving a black 2009 Audi A6 with the license plate BPVM 535. The vehicle also has a minor dent in the driver’s side door.

Eugenia, also known as Jenny, and a black 2009 Audi A6. (Source: Brantford Police)

Friends and coworkers react

Those who know Jenny best say her disappearance is completely out of character.

“She loves her family. She loves her job,” insisted Van de Ven. “She’s a wonderful human being and she would never do this.”

Gerber said Jenny is like family to the rest of the funeral home staff.

“She’s such a well respected funeral director. She cares so much about the families and doing a good job. She loves her daughters immensely. They’re everything to her.”

“Bring Jenny Home”

Sheldon Arruda first met Jenny through work but that eventually developed into a real-life friendship.

“This is not Jenny at all,” he told CTV News on Wednesday. “Jenny loves her family. She lives for her two daughters. This is completely unexpected.”

Arruda is one of the people behind a newly created Facebook group that’s organizing search efforts.

“A few of us got together yesterday and [there was a] feeling of helplessness,” he said. “We put our heads together and we asked each other: ‘Could this work? Could we kind of spark a group? Could we get volunteers across all these regions?’”

Arruda said more than 250 people have already signed up to help.

Because Jenny works in Woodstock and lives in Brantford, there’s a lot of area to cover. To make it more manageable, the group is seeking search volunteers in 11 different areas: Brantford-Brant, Hamilton Mountain, Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas, Hamilton East-Stoney Creek, Hamilton Centre, St. Catharines, London North, Elgin, Middlesex, London, Cambridge, Haldimand-Norfolk, Oxford, Niagara Centre and Niagara Falls.

“These are areas that are important to Jenny or her family, be it where they would visit other family or travel, whether it was a location where Jenny worked previously, there’s a reason as to why these regions were selected,” Arruda explained.

Jenny in an undated photo. (Submitted: Lisa Palmer)

Volunteers are being asked to go out on Thursday, July 11 to look for Jenny’s black 2009 Audi A6.

“We’re asking for anyone in these communities to pay a little bit more attention, look up and down those side streets that you would never pay attention to,” Arruda said. “Look through parking garages, anywhere that you would essentially park a car.”

Jenny’s peers are also pitching in.

“The funeral industry in this province has completely stepped up,” Arruda added. “Funeral homes will be opening their doors tomorrow across all these regions for canvassers, whether they need restrooms [or] need to pick up printed fliers.”

Calling in tips

Brantford Police said they weren’t available for an interview on Tuesday and couldn’t share any updates on the case.

“The Brantford Police Service are concerned for Eugenia’s [Jenny’s] well-being and are seeking assistance from anyone who may have information which may assist in locating the missing person,” their press release read.

CTV News reached out to police again, without success, on Wednesday.

Anyone with information on Jenny’s whereabouts is asked to contact Brantford Police at 519-756-7050. Anonymous tips can also be submitted online to Crime Stoppers, or by phone to 519-750-8477 or 1-800-222-8477.

The hope is that someone, somewhere, will come forward with an important tip in the case.

-- With additional reporting by CTV Kitchener's Stefanie Davis and Spencer Turcotte Top Stories

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