Twenty-one-year search for Arlene McLean


**** RCMP Media Release

Twenty-one-year search for Arlene McLean

On September 9, 1999 at 7:47 p.m., RCMP received a report that Arlene McLean left her residence in Eastern Passage the evening before and hadn’t returned. When she left, she gave the impression she wouldn’t be long.

Over the next 21 years, RCMP searched the area, interviewed friends, family members and other witnesses, and followed up on reports of sightings and with partner agencies within Canada and the US. Despite the ongoing investigative efforts, there were no confirmed sightings of Ms. McLean or her vehicle.

Her whereabouts and what happened to her remained a mystery, until October 2020 when the RCMP Underwater Recovery Team (URT) located two submerged vehicles in tidal waters near Rainbow Haven Beach when they were conducting an unrelated search. Both vehicles matched the make of Ms. McLean’s vehicle. Finally, investigators had reason for hope.

“We were excited about our find and gave the investigators on the McLean case a call. Our examination of the first vehicle though showed that it wasn’t McLean’s vehicle, and then the timing and weather caught up with us,” says Sgt. Mark Bishop, Underwater Recovery Team. Further dives were delayed until spring.

In this video,, Cpl. Troy Murray, lead investigator, and Sgt. Bishop, tell a more complete story of the investigation into Ms. McLean’s disappearance and the operation that helped provide answers to Ms. McLean’s family.

The RCMP URT, RCMP Forensic Identification Section, Collision Accident Reconstruction Service, the Medical Examiner’s Office, the Department of Natural Resources and investigators all worked together with the RCMP/HRP Special Investigation Section of the Criminal Investigation Division to determine the circumstances of Ms. McLean’s disappearance Although the timeline of this investigation created some significant investigative challenges, investigators believe that Ms. McLean’s disappearance was not criminal and the investigation has been completed. Ultimately the final piece of the puzzle needed to give Ms. McLean’s family the closure they have been seeking for 21 years was finding and recovering her vehicle and remains.

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