Fact Check

Missing Child: Karissa Boudreau

Karissa Boudreau: Missing child or Internet hoax?

Published Feb 11, 2008

Claim:   A 12-year-old girl named Karissa Boudreau is missing from her Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, home.


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, February 2008]

Hi guys,
I'm forwarding this on because we'd all help if we could. Who knows. God love her.

Karissa is still missing from Bridgewater

STILL MISSING - Help Find 12 year old Karissa

Please look at the picture, read what her mother says and then FORWARD the message on.

Penny Boudreau says she desperately needs to know if her daughter Karissa Boudreau 'is OK' and would be happy just to hear her voice on the telephone.

Police say they're coming up empty in the search for Karissa despite numerous tips of possible sightings, a ground search and a helicopter search. The Grade 6 student was reported missing Sunday evening after she disappeared following an argument with her mother. Sgt. John

Karissa Boudreau

Collyer, acting deputy chief of Bridgewater police, says it's possible that she has left the province, though there's no firm evidence on that either.

She was wearing a black top, vest, jeans and pink crocs when last seen.

Maybe if everyone passes this on, someone will see this child.

That is how the girl from Stevens Point was found by circulation of her picture on TV. The Internet circulates even overseas, South America, and United States etc.

Please pass this to everyone in your address book.

With GOD on her side she will be found.

'I am asking you all, begging you to please forward this email on to anyone and everyone you know, PLEASE.

It is still not too late. Please help us. If anyone knows anything, please contact Bridgewater Police Dept Sgt. John Collyer at : (902)-543-2464

I am including a picture of her.

All prayers are appreciated! ! '

It only takes 2 seconds to forward this.

If it was your child, you would want all the help you could get!!


Origins:   This entreaty from February 2008 to aid in the manhunt for a missing girl
contained text lifted from three previous "missing kid" hoaxes (Penny Brown, Ashley Flores, and Evan Trembley) and was therefore dismissed by some as yet another leg-pull. However, lifted text or not, this was the real thing: there was such a youngster, and she was missing. (In case you were wondering, the re-used text is: "That is how the

girl from Stevens Point was found by circulation of her picture on TV. The Internet circulates even overseas, South America, and United States etc.")

According to Penny Boudreau, the mother of 12-year-old Karissa Boudreau, on 27 January 2008 the two of them had a mother-daughter disagreement in the parking lot of a grocery store (Sobeys) in their hometown of Bridgewater, Nova Scotia. It ended with the Penny's entering the store by herself, leaving her daughter sitting in the car. When Penny returned, her daughter was gone and wasn't seen again.

On the theory that Karissa might have tried to walk home by crossing the LaHave River (which runs behind the store where she was last seen), that body of water was searched by divers from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). On 9 February 2008 the body of a Caucasian girl was discovered under snow near the LaHave River just outside Bridgewater, and on 14 February 2008 the remains were identified as those of Karissa Boudreau. Her death was treated as a murder by police.

On 14 June 2008, Penny Boudreau was arrested and charged with the first-degree murder of her daughter.

On 30 January 2009, Karissa's mother pled guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to life imprisonment, with the possibility of parole after twenty years. She had strangled her child with a length of twine then left the body by the river because her boyfriend, Vernon Macumber, had told Boudreau that it was either him or her daughter if their relationship was to survive.

Last updated:   30 August 2012


    CBC News.   "Divers Find No Sign of Missing Girl."

    5 February 2008.

    CBC News.   "Body Found Near Bridgewater, N.S., A Young Female."

    10 February 2008.

    CBC News.   "Bridgewater on Edge as Girl's Body Found."

    11 February 2008.

    CTV.ca.   "Body Found in N.S. Is That of Missing Girl: Police."

    14 February 2008.

    CBC News.   "Mother Arrested in Death of Nova Scotia Girl."

    14 June 2008.

    CBC News.   "Woman Guilty of Murdering Daughter."

    30 January 2009.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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