Toronto Catholic youth gone missing

  • September 24, 2007

{mosimage}TORONTO - It’s almost been two months now since Christina Calayca went missing at Rainbow Falls Park near Thunder Bay, Ont.

The 20-year-old was last sighted Aug. 6 at 6:30 a.m. when she went for a morning jog while on a camping trip with her cousin and two male friends from the Catholic lay movement Youth for Christ. 

But her mother Elizabeth Rutledge said she has reason to believe her daughter is still alive.

After some of Calayca’s friends returned home from an evening prayer vigil for her  Sept. 14 that drew several hundred parishioners and supporters to her home parish, Our Lady of Lourdes in downtown Toronto, they noticed Calayca’s MSN Messenger profile picture had been changed.  

“Right after the vigil it looks like God answered our prayers,” said Rutledge, who believes  Christina changed the picture to signal she is alive.  

“My heart was just pumping. I know she was abducted or taken somewhere. I reported it the same minute when the youth called me.”

According to a CTV report, since Calayca’s disappearance police have not suspected foul play.

The family has opened a trust account to offer a reward to anyone who finds Calayca.

“That should be the fastest and most accurate way to get her back,” said the single mother.  

A week after she went missing Calayca’s father, Mario, and seven other relatives drove 14 hours north to aid in the OPP search. The provincial police have since stopped the search.

Family and friends also gave spiritual support, holding their first prayer vigil Aug. 15 at Scarborough’s Prince of Peace Catholic Church.

Among the supporters at the more recent prayer vigil were members of Youth for Christ, a movement Calayca is chapter leader for in downtown Toronto, and her boss Angie Carboni and co-workers from St. Bernadette’s Daycare Centre, where she started working a year ago upon graduation from George Brown College in early childhood education.   

Any information or possible sightings of Calayca should be reported to the Ontario Provincial Police at 1 (888) 310-1122.

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