The son of a woman who was last seen alive in West Vancouver more than a year ago is asking the courts to declare her missing, given her mysterious disappearance.
The Vancouver woman, Xiao Hua Jiang, vanished after leaving a friend’s house in West Vancouver at 1 a.m. on April 27, 2022.
Since then, nobody – including her adult children – have heard from her.
Her car, however, was found damaged on the side of the highway near Golden B.C., not far from Glacier National Park. A search with police dogs in the area where the car was found failed to turn up any sign of the missing woman.
“She truly vanished without a trace,” said Sgt. Mark McLean of the West Vancouver Police Department.
This month, Jiang’s 27-year-old son Guan Jun Liu filed a petition in B.C. Supreme Court, asking for an order that his mother be declared missing and that he be appointed to deal with her estate, which includes the family home on 45th Street in Vancouver and ownership of a condo still under construction in Toronto.
According to court documents, Liu – who was living in China when Jiang disappeared – and his sister Catherine Jiang – who is attending university in the US – had a close relationship with their mother and were in regular contact with her prior to Jiang’s disappearance.
Liu said when he last spoke to his mother on April 26, 2022, they discussed a plan for his sister to visit him in China.
According to court documents, the woman’s daughter said in their last phone call, Jiang said she’d been feeling unwell and missed her daughter. The two resolved to talk daily, according to court documents.
So, when she couldn’t get hold of her mom in May 2022, Catherine Jiang became alarmed and alerted her brother. The family then reported Jiang missing.
On May 2, Jiang’s vehicle, a grey 2021 Toyota Highlander with the B.C. licence plate NB7 39C, was located abandoned on the Trans-Canada Highway, between Revelstoke and Golden.
McLean said the vehicle was damaged, with a bent steering arm, that would have made it undriveable.
But he said there’s no information to indicate whether Jiang or someone else drove the car across the province, from West Vancouver to Golden. Attempts to find witnesses who saw Jiang in the vehicle or at stops along the route also turned up empty.
“We have an open mind that anything could have happened,” said McLean.
Jiang’s son and daughter went to Golden after the vehicle was found and looked for their mother in a few small Interior towns, as well as posting messages on social media and checking car rental agencies and travel groups.
But none of those efforts turned up any clues.
Since Jiang’s disappearance, the son stated in court documents he has been paying bills for Jiang’s credit cards and property taxes from his personal accounts.
If the court declares his mother missing, he would be able to handle the financial affairs of her estate, he said in court documents.
McLean said while “there’s some reason to be concerned about (Jiang’s) state of mental health”, her disappearance remains unusual, and her case remains open.
In the time he’s been with the West Vancouver Police Department, “It’s the first case where someone has essentially vanished without a trace,” he said. “There are a lot of unanswered questions.”