“48 Hours” explores the mysteries and murders along the Highway of Tears (from CBS – Page 1)
Produced by Paul LaRosa, Clare Friedland and Alec Sirken
“It’s just an awful feeling … to know that she disappeared from just a few feet away. It’s just devastating,” said Dawn Scott.
Devastating, and yet, Dawn and Eldon Scott keep coming back to the place where their 20-year-old daughter, Maddy, was last seen alive.
“It’s really unsettling knowing that she disappeared from here and nobody has seen her since,” Eldon Scott told “48 Hours” correspondent Peter Van Sant.
It was at Hogsback Lake in Northern British Columbia, Canada, where Maddy camped out after partying with friends on the night of May 27, 2011.
“It’s a beautiful little spot. It’s close to town,” Dawn explained.
“So it was just a group of kids going for a birthday party?” Van Sant asked.
“Yeah … and they were going out camping for the night,” she replied.
“The next day Maddy has not come home … did you call her on her cell phone?”
“I did try to call her and it went right to her voicemail,” said Dawn.
Still, Dawn wasn’t worried. Cell service at the lake was always spotty.
“I thought, ‘Gee, like she’s 20 years old, she went to the lake. The weather was beautiful, she was with friends. If something was up, she would call us,” said Dawn.
But Maddy never called.
“… it just didn’t seem right and that was Sunday morning so Eldon and I hopped in the vehicle and we drove out there,” she continued.
Hogsback Lake is only a 15-minute drive from the Scott’s home in Vanderhoof, a tiny town along Canada’s infamous Highway 16. The locals call it “The Highway of Tears” for a reason.
Since 1969, at least 18 women have gone missing or have been murdered in this very same area … just like Maddy.
“Here again is a girl from one of these small towns along this highway who has disappeared without a trace,” said Bob Friel, an investigative reporter for Outside magazine and a CBS News consultant. He has written about this haunted highway and the Maddy Scott case.
“Madison Scott fits the same pattern as some of these cases that are on the official list,” Friel explained, “but she disappeared from a place very close to the highway.”
On that Sunday morning in 2011, Maddy’s parents were not thinking about the nearby highway’s reputation — they just wanted to find their daughter.
“You arrive here at Hogsback, what do you see?” Van Sant asked.
“Her old pickup was parked here…” said Eldon.
“And what did you do?”
“We walked over to the truck and looked in it,” said Dawn.
Dawn and Eldon found Maddy’s purse and backpack inside her locked truck, but her phone was missing.
“She doesn’t go anywhere without her purse or you know, her personal belongings,” Dawn told Van Sant.
“So at what point does panic set in?”
“Immediately,” she said.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police — the RCMP — rushed to the scene, but there was no trace of Maddy.
“Something happened to Maddy. Maddy disappeared. She didn’t get taken by a flying saucer. Somebody knows something,” said Sgt. Ken Floyd.
Sergeant Ken Floyd and Constable Tom Wamsteeker of the RCMP are the lead investigators. They begin by developing a profile of Maddy. She was close to her brother, Ben, and sister Georgia. After graduating high school, Maddy began working with her father in the logging industry.
“Everyone speaks highly of Madison Scott. She was well-loved and liked in the community. She was an avid outdoors person,” Wamsteeker explained. “… she was into dirt biking and she loved sports.”
Amanda Fitzpatrick and Jasmine Klassen are Maddy’s close friends.
“Was Maddy a real competitor?” Van Sant asked Fitzpatrick.
“Yes,” she laughed fondly, “very much so.”
Asked what thoughts come to mind when she thinks of Maddy, Klassen was overcome with emotion. “She always shared. She was really thoughtful,” she said.
The girls cannot think about their close friend without remembering all the videos they made together.
“She liked to take charge. Everyone would have their own ideas and she would just kinda take over,” Fitzpatrick said of Maddy’s moviemaking.
In an eerie twist, Maddy co-wrote and starred in a suspense movie called, “The Stalker.”
Neither Fitzpatrick of Klassen was at the birthday party the night Maddy went missing, but about 50 others were and investigators began going at them hard.
“You spoke to every single person who had been at that party?” Van Sant asked Sgt. Floyd.
“We have,” he replied. “It remains ongoing … we haven’t identified anyone that would have a grudge or had any reason to harm or cause Madison’s disappearance.”
But investigators did uncover one troubling detail: that fateful night, Maddy’s friends had left her at the lake completely alone.
“As far as she knew going there, there were other people that were going to be staying out at the lake that night,” said Constable Tom Wamsteeker.
But one by one, everyone packed up and left, including Jordy Bolduc, who had promised Maddy that she’d stay with her.
“I just can’t believe that it’s — it’s just so wrong,” said Maddy’s mom.
“People still think that I am a horrible person ’cause I left my best friend out there,” Bolduc told Van Sant. “…and people, like, yell at me and write on Facebook that I’ve killed her and I left her and I’m stupid.”
“Did the police question you?”
“Oh yeah,” she replied. “… they asked me the question several times … ‘Did you kill Maddy? Were you there when Maddy was killed?’