Published: Tue, January 08, 2019
Science | By

Canadian woman missing in Burkina Faso

Canadian woman missing in Burkina Faso

A 34-year-old Quebec woman and her 30-year-old Italian friend have gone missing while they were travelling together in West Africa, according to her family.

Sherbrooke native Edith Blais and her Italian friend Luca Tacchetto were travelling in Burkina Faso when all communication with their families "abruptly stopped" on December 15, according to Blais' sister.

Blais, who is from Sherbrooke, Que., had met Tacchetto, a 30-year-old architect, in Canada two years ago.

Blais and Tacchetto were reportedly on their way to Togo to take part in a reforestation project, but there is no indication they left Burkina Faso.

The pair's disappearance follows the kidnapping of Italian aid worker Silvia Romano in Kenya on November 20, 2018.

The pair was supposed to stay in the capital for four or five days and possibly sell their auto, according to Blais' family.

Bergeron last spoke with her daughter while Blais was in Mali.

"The things that go through your head- it's insane", she said.

Bergeron described her daughter as a visual artist whose "lifelong dream" was travelling to Africa.

"At first we gave her a little slack, telling ourselves 'she's a traveller, she's a bit bohemian, ' and it's possible that she just didn't give us news for a few days", Bergeron Blais said. "They've completely disappeared into the void".

"We're holding out hope that we will find her quickly", Bergeron said.

Global Affairs Canada says consular officials are reaching out to local authorities in Burkina Faso, but it won't publish any information that could jeopardize ongoing efforts or endanger citizens' safety.

It said Blais and Tacchetto were heading to Ouagadougou from Bobo-Diulasso for a four- or five-day stay, noting that a Canadian travel warning had reported a risk of banditry and kidnapping in the area.

Canada has travel advisories for Burkina Faso, due to terrorism and kidnapping.

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