Madison Scott, a Canadian woman, disappeared on May 28, 2011, after leaving a gathering at Hogsback Lake, situated 25 km southeast of Vanderhoof in British Columbia.
On May 29, 2023, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) announced that Madison Scott’s remains had been positively identified after being found earlier that month on a remote farm on the east side of Vanderhoof.
Who was Madison Scott?
Madison, born on April 29, 1991, was the third child in the Scott family. She had a variety of interests, including motocross, figure skating, equestrian sports, team sports, and socializing with friends.
Scott’s father worked as a heavy-duty mechanic in the forestry industry, where she also trained as an apprentice. She was known for her versatile nature, equally comfortable in a dress or work coveralls.
Madison spent the majority of her life in Vanderhoof and completed her secondary schooling at Nechako Valley in 2009. Prior to her disappearance, she got a tattoo on her inner left wrist.
Before her disappearance, Madison Scott had a tattoo inked on the inside of her left wrist.
Madison was described as 5 feet 4 inches (163 cm) tall, weighing 160-180 pounds (73-82 kg), with green eyes and natural ginger hair. She was 20 years old and of Caucasian descent.
She had multiple ear and nose piercings and a bird tattoo on the inside of her left wrist. Described as spontaneous and fun-loving, she was known for her kindness and generosity.
Scott enjoyed sharing her talents through homemade music videos and focused more on extracurricular activities than academic studies.
What occurred to Madison Scott?
Madison Scott and her friend Jordi Bolduc drove to Hogsback Lake in a white 1990 Ford F-150 pickup truck on May 27, 2011, for a party. By nightfall, Scott had retired to her tent and sleeping bag. She communicated with her dad via text message
Later that night, Bolduc left with her new boyfriend after a fight. She claimed to have invited Scott, who declined.
At around 8:30 a.m. the next morning, Bolduc and her boyfriend returned to the campsite to retrieve her belongings. Scott’s tent was unzipped, and her sleeping bags and belongings were found off to the side. There was no contact with Scott, and her absence was not mentioned.
On the evening of May 28, 2011, a second party took place at the location where Scott was last seen.
Scott’s tent was damaged by an unknown person, who was later identified and interrogated by the RCMP. However, no information regarding the suspect’s potential motives was disclosed to the public.
RCMP probe into Madison Scott’s disappearance from the site
The RCMP reported finding no signs of a struggle. Only the clothes she was wearing, an iPhone 4 in a light blue case, and a set of keys, including the Ford key on a Gothic-themed lanyard, were missing from her belongings.
An extensive search was carried out in the Hogsback Lake area, which is characterized by clear waters (visibility exceeding 10 feet), covers approximately 128 acres, and extends to a maximum depth of 22 feet. It is located 26 kilometers southeast of Vanderhoof.
The lake’s makeup primarily involves glacial till with sand, gravel, and clay, while the underlying bedrock is basalt.
Efforts including divers, cadaver dogs, boats, cars, trucks, as well as searches by foot, ATVs, horses, a forward-looking infrared camera-equipped helicopter, and various other vehicles were employed in the region.
The initial days following her disappearance witnessed an intensive search, involving teams walking in long lines, hand in hand, conducting checks at 10 p.m., cadaver dogs searching, and dive teams scouring the lake, as described by Dawn Scott.
Due to the chilly ground in the early hours, forward-looking infrared technology was utilized in the helicopter search.
The search area spanned approximately 2788.16 km2 (50 km x 71 km ellipse), extending from east to west between Isle Pierre and Fraser Lake, and from north to south toward Fort St. James and southwest of Sinkut Mountain (Finger Lake/Paddock Lake). Side-scanning sonar was included in the boat search.
Madison Scott’s family and friends put up signs and made media announcements about her disappearance.
A $100,000 cash reward was offered for information leading to the capture of the perpetrators.
Her loved ones host an annual poker ride to commemorate her.
The case has been covered in video blogs, a Crime Stoppers video, an episode of 48 Hours, and a documentary by filmmaker Steven F. Scouller.
RCMP Conclusion on the Case of Madison Scott
The RCMP investigated and found no evidence at the campsite suggesting that Scott left on her own, such as a flat tire or other indicators. According to Rick Beatty from Vanderhoof Search and Rescue, many searchers concluded that Scott must have left by car due to a lack of evidence indicating a departure on foot.
The RCMP is investigating Madison Scott’s disappearance and suspect foul play. There were also mentions of potential new individuals at the gathering by Jordi Bolduc. The police stated that they had spoken to everyone at the party on May 27 and found no evidence linking any of the attendees to Scott’s disappearance or anyone with motives to harm her.
Those requested to take polygraph tests did so willingly, as per the police. While the case of Madison Scott does not meet the criteria for inclusion in the Highway of Tears database, there have been speculations about its connection to the disappearance and potential murder of indigenous women in the Highway 16 corridor.
There were mentions of a potential involvement of Fribjon Bjornson, a single father and drug addict, in connection with Scott’s disappearance. The police investigated Bjornson’s possible involvement, but both the police and Scott’s family found no significant links between the two incidents. Bjornson was later killed in 2012.
New update about the case of Madison Scott
In May 2023, Madison Scott’s remains were discovered on a remote farm near Hogsback Lake and were subsequently identified.
A vigil was held on Saturday, June 3, 2023, at Nechako Valley Secondary School.