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Mother of missing woman pleads for public's help to find Nicole Pawis

'Everyone is looking for you and we love you. We just want to know you’re somewhere safe,' says Jamie Dennis; Family and friends plan to canvass Duckworth Street area on Sunday

Jamie Dennis spent Friday afternoon on the trails at Lover’s Creek in Barrie, clutching a photo of her daughter and asking passersby if they had seen her.

Nicole Pawis, 26, has been missing since Dec. 11, 2020.

When Pawis was last seen at her Duckworth Street apartment at the beginning of December, she took only items for her blue-eyed grey and black Australian shepard named Maverick.

A recent tip in the missing-person case indicated Pawis may have been seen walking her dog on the Lover's Creek Trail near Cox Mill Road and Hurst Drive between Jan. 19 and 25, which is what led Dennis to canvass the area in Barrie's south end.

“People have been hum-and-hawing. Most people don’t want to talk to you. I tell them, ‘I’m not selling anything!’” said Dennis. “I just need their attention for one minute. Many people are sympathetic.”

Dennis describes her daughter as five-foot-four, about 110 pounds with hazel eyes and brown hair. She loves nature, the farm and the quiet. She enjoys reading tarot cards, drawing and baking.

She says her daughter isn’t the type to just disappear for weeks at a time and not contact anyone.

“She has social anxiety, and doesn’t drive. She’s very shy. She’s a homebody,” Dennis said. “She gets to places using Uber. She doesn’t even like to go out to grocery shop. She’s not the type of person to just roam anywhere.”

Dennis said she was first alerted that Nicole was missing by her daughter’s roommate, who called police in December. Since then, Dennis says she would occasionally see some social media activity on Pawis’s account, which led her to believe that perhaps Pawis just needed a break. Although, Pawis has not directly reached out to friends or family.

“Seeing some activity meant, to me, that she was OK,” said Dennis. “When that went away... is when it started to escalate.”

The last time Dennis saw social media activity from Pawis was a post on Pinterest two weeks ago, and has seen nothing since. Dennis says the police have told her there has been no activity on Pawis’s bank account, either.

If Dennis could say one thing to her daughter now, it is a plea to reach out.

“Everyone is looking for you and we love you. We just want to know you’re somewhere safe,” said Dennis. “We respect your privacy, but please reach out to someone. Anyone, to just let them know you’re OK.”

Dennis says she and close family and friends will be canvassing in the Duckworth Street area on Sunday.

Peter Leon, communications co-ordinator with Barrie police, provided an update on the investigation Friday afternoon.

“Our investigation remains very much active and ongoing,” he said. “We’re concerned, obviously, because it’s been about two and a half months since anybody has seen her. We want to confirm her whereabouts.”

Police are encouraging anyone who have many have seen Pawis or her dog to contact Barrie police Const. Kurt Hemington via email at khemington@barriepolice.ca.