Priscilla Potts found it hard to answer questions from the media about her daughter Caitlin several months ago, but she says she’s okay with it now.
Such are the changes in the world of a parent whose child goes missing.
Caitlin Potts, 27, was last seen in the Enderby area and at the Orchard Park Mall in Kelowna on Feb. 21, 2016. She last contacted family and friends on Feb. 22.
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Priscilla shared thoughts recently about Caitlin, who has been gone for 20 months.
“She was always trying different things, new things. She is really nice to be around. We did things together when she was around – self-help groups, church, family things, she really like gatherings with the family. She was smart.”
Priscilla’s words slip between present and past tense when referring to her daughter.
Caitlin is a mom, too.
“She hasn’t had her son for a long time. She talked about him a lot,” Priscilla says.
Priscilla explains that she didn’t spend as much time with Caitlin as she wanted, because Caitlin grew up in foster care.
“Because of the experience in there, she had a lot of attachment issues. She had to work through them and she did the best she could, I know that,” Priscilla says, explaining it wasn’t until before her disappearance that Caitlin really dug into what she needed to deal with.
“I didn’t know what happened,” she says of Caitlin’s earlier years. “I knew something was going on, but I didn’t know what was going on. They were never honest with me, they never really told me. But I knew, I never would just stay away from them. I continued to visit, I continued to fight and struggle to have them back in my care, but it didn’t seem like it was happening.
“She had some deep-seated issues.”
Nonetheless, Priscilla says, Caitlin had a lot of friends, “people loved her.”
“I know they did, because I knew most of her friends. But people I didn’t know, since she has been missing, they came forward to tell me about Caitlin and what their friendship was like.”
They told Priscilla they loved Caitlin. Just as Caitlin loved and was protective of her family.
“I know a lot of them said, ‘she always talked about you and the family.’”
Caitlin is a middle daughter, with Ashley the oldest and Codi the youngest, and there are other children, Priscilla says.
She came from Pigeon Lake, Alberta.
Related link: First Nations help with search for missing Enderby woman
Related link: Video released of last time Caitlin Potts was seen
In June of 2016, Secwepemc people – members of the Splatsin and other Shuswap First Nations – helped Caitlin’s family search areas around Enderby, Mabel Lake and Grindrod, as well as along the Shuswap River.
The support from Secwepemc people and others has continued, with attention being kept on Caitlin and the other missing women in the Okanagan-Shuswap.
Priscilla was thrilled to hear about the drones that John Simpson, the father of Ashley Simpson who has been missing since April 2016, purchased. He sent them to Jody Leon, who has been a leader in advocating for the missing women. The drones will be used to search areas where the women were last seen, Leon says.
Priscilla has a message for Leon regarding the drones:
“This is so awesome, Jody. I feel very hopeful. I really appreciate everything you have done for us and what you continue to do for us. You truly are a godsend. Thank you!”