“48 Hours” explores the mysteries and murders along the Highway of Tears (from CBS Page 2)
For Dawn and Eldon Scott, the disappearance of their 20-year-old daughter, Maddy, is almost incomprehensible.
“I think it was just so surreal to everyone,” Dawn told Peter Van Sant.
“It was just like, ‘This can’t be happening.’ … you just keep expecting her to show up.”
Finding Maddy in the vast Canadian wilderness that surrounds the Highway of Tears, where so many women have gone missing, feels nearly impossible.
“It’s like a needle in a haystack. It’s just amazing. You know there’s water, there’s forest, there’s rugged terrain … it’s staggering you know? That’s why the possibilities, they’re endless,” said Dawn.
Frustrated and heartbroken, Dawn and Eldon began their own investigation, separate from the official police version of events.
“This is a board that our team has put together. It’s a list of people who were at the party,” Dawn explained. “… when they arrived, when they left …Who they arrived with, with who they left with.”
The makeshift investigation went up on the Scott’s basement wall, just feet from Maddy’s now empty bedroom.
“We needed a place to put up a board to keep track of, to lay it out, what went on,” said Eldon.
They re-traced Maddy’s trail throughout the day as she visited a liquor store and later bought snacks. She can be seen on a security camera recorded just hours before she vanished.
“You have a category [labeled] ‘questions,'” Van Sant noted, referring to the information board. “What kind of questions do you have?”
“Why was she left there on her own? Why did everybody leave?” Dawn replied.
And if there is one person who can answer some of those questions, it’s Jordy Bolduc, Maddy’s friend who had promised to camp out with her.
“Tell me about the party that night,” Van Sant asked Bolduc.
“Well, it was just supposed to be the people that we know and then it turned into like this big party,” she replied.
Word had spread online. “It was posted on Facebook, so that’s how everybody found out and went to Hogsback. Big party,” said Bolduc.
Asked if there were strangers at the party, Bolduc told Van Sant, “I know most of them, but the people that came at the very end of the party, I did not know. I had no idea who they were.”
At one point, the party got a bit rough. “People got up and started a fight behind me and I bounced into the fire,” she explained.
Jordy Bolduc was injured, so her boyfriend carried her to his truck and told Maddy they were leaving.
“What did she say to you?” Van Sant asked.
“She was just like shocked,” Bolduc replied. “She’s like, ‘Really, you’re going?’ and I was like, ‘Yeah, I’m going.’ And she kinda begged me and then I was like, ‘Well, you can come with us … and she said no … she wanted just to stay there with her tent for it to be safe.”
“Did she tell you she thought it would be safe?”
“Yeah, she said she thought it would be fine,” said Bolduc.
“What time did you leave the party?” Van Sant asked.
“Hmmmm, I left around 1 [a.m.],” she said.
By 10 the following morning, Bolduc was feeling guilty about leaving Maddy alone. She returned to the lake to help her pack up.
“And then I got there and there was no Maddy. And I looked around … checked the place. I was like, ‘Oh maybe she’s in her truck,'” she said.
Jordy Bolduc noticed that the tent was a mess.
“The door was wide open,” she recalled. “The blankets and everything were pushed to the side. Her rings were outside … she never takes off her rings… there are rings on the ground and earrings, wooden on the ground … and I was like ‘Whoa.’ … It was just like ‘Where’s Maddy?'”
Investigators have focused a lot of attention on Bolduc and the last people to leave the party.
“Common sense dictates that Jordy was a suspect. She was one of the last people … who spoke with Maddy,” said Sgt. Ken Floyd of the RCMP.
“I was probably talked to every single day for three months,” Bolduc explained. “I went in for like two polygraphs.”
“And the result?” Van Sant asked.
“They said I aced it. I aced the polygraph,” she replied in a whisper.
“Jordy is no longer a suspect,” said Constable Tom Wamsteeker of the RCMP.
The investigation spread outward and Sgt. Floyd learned that Maddy was involved with 28-year old Fribjon Bjornson, a logger and single father of two. He was better known as Frib.
“I couldn’t believe that they were seeing each other because he’s bad news. He is bad news,” said Bolduc.
Bjornson led a troubled life and abused drugs — a fact confirmed by and police and even his own mother. And Bolduc says Bjornson was reportedly in debt to his suppliers.
“He was like far into debt with cocaine. He owned a lotta money to a lotta dealers,” she said. “And then she was seeing him. I was just like, ‘That’s freaky. You better be careful.'”
There was talk in town that drug dealers — restless for their money — had abducted Maddy to teach Bjornson a lesson.
“We don’t leave any stone unturned where Maddy’s concerned,” Floyd said, “and we would be irresponsible by not following up with the suggestion that there was revenge or some connection between Frib and Madison.”
Investigators considered Bjornson a suspect. He voluntarily took a lie detector test and passed.
“He wanted to clear his name and he wanted people to know he had no involvement in what happened to Maddy,” said Constable Wamsteeker.
Based largely on that polygraph test, the RCMP cleared him. But two days later, Bjornson disappeared. Two weeks later, investigators made a shocking discovery. They found Bjornson’s severed head in an abandoned house in a nearby town.
“And they’re still looking for the rest of his body,” said Bolduc.
“There is no connection between Madison’s disappearance and Frib’s murder,” said Floyd.
But many locals don’t believe it. Bjornson’s murder – like Maddy’s disappearance — remains unsolved.
Today, more then 18 months after Maddy’s disappearance, Dawn and Eldon Scott cling to the hope that she is alive.
“You do believe that she’ll be found?” Van Sant asked the Scotts.
“I do, yes I do,” Dawn nodded.
“I said that from the very first day that we’ll find her and we’ll bring her home,” said Eldon.
The Scotts have issued public requests for help and there is a $100,000 reward for information.
“When you take even a simple drive, Maddy’s looking back at you. You see her on the side of the road on one of these signs. What is that like for you?” Van Sant asked.
“Oh it kills ya every time,” Dawn said, overcome with emotion. “Again, why am I sitting here, not out looking somewhere … it’s your child you know? It’s devastating and it’s just gut-wrenching. … you see all these posters on vehicles and it’s just staggering … you just can’t believe that it’s your child.”
Maddy’s parents are not alone. Just six months earlier in the same town, another daughter disappeared.
“Every day I wake up thinking about Loren. Every night I go to sleep thinking about Loren,” Doug Leslie said. “I think it’s gonna be the same forever…”