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Surrey mom's disappearance still a mystery – more than 50 years later

Lucy Ann Johnson (nee Carvell) went missing in 1961. Surrey RCMP are highlighting the cold case in hopes of providing answers to her family. - SURREY RCMP
Lucy Ann Johnson (nee Carvell) went missing in 1961. Surrey RCMP are highlighting the cold case in hopes of providing answers to her family.
— image credit: SURREY RCMP

Linda Evans was only a child of seven or eight years old when her mom disappeared, so she doesn't remember much.

Her mother, Lucy Ann Johnson (nee Carvell) went missing in the 1960s. But as a kid, Evans never knew any more details than that – except that her dad didn't want to talk about it.

"It's like she vanished into thin air," says Evans, who is now in her late 50s and is Johnson's only surviving child.

Johnson is one of the Surrey RCMP's oldest missing person cases. Police say though she was originally reported missing by her husband in 1965, investigators later learned from a neighbour that she hadn't been seen since September 1961. Her husband, Marvin, later admitted she actually had gone missing in 1961.

Believing the young mom may have met with foul play, police did a thorough investigation which included excavating the family's property near 103 Avenue and 145A Street in North Surrey. According to the RCMP, neighbours had previously seen Marvin digging a septic field in the yard.

No evidence was ever found to support the theory that Lucy was a victim of crime. Charges were considered against her husband, but again, there was insufficient evidence.

Lucy was born in 1935 in Alaska, married Marvin in Blaine, Wa. in 1954, and settled in Surrey a year to two later. The couple had two children, daughter Linda, and a son named Daniel. Linda still lives in Surrey, while Daniel, she says, passed away in his late teens.

According to police, Marvin was listed as first mate on a tugboat, but was unemployed in 1961. He remarried and continued to raise the children with his new wife. He passed away in the late 1990s.

Lucy apparently had regular contact with the Catholic Aid Society and worked at St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver for a period in 1954. At the time of her disappearance, she was 5'5" tall, 110 pounds, with a dark complexion and dark brown hair. She is of First Nations descent and would be 77 now.

Investigators hope that by re-telling the story of Lucy's disappearance, someone may recall information that will assist police and help her family move forward.

For Evans, finding out what happened to her mom, after all these years, would provide at least some answers to a mystery that has haunted her since childhood.

"I would like to know before I die," she says. "She's got grandkids and great-grandkids."

Anyone with information about this case, no matter how seemingly insignificant, is asked to call the Surrey RCMP Missing Person Unit at 604-599-0502 and ask for Const. Mike Halskov. If you wish to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), or email surrey_missing_persons@rcmp-grc.gc.ca

 

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