A 34-year-old Canadian woman and an Italian partner traveling in West Africa have gone missing, according to family members. They were expected to arrive in Togo before Christmas, but no one has heard from them since they were in Burkina Faso on December 15.
Edith Blais, of Quebec, and Luca Tacchetto – a 30-year-old Italian architect Blais met in Canada two years ago – have been traveling since last year, making visits in European countries before heading to the African continent.
The last time Blais, right, was in contact with her mother was on December 13 when she was still in Mali; the family of Tacchetto says they spoke with him two days later, on the same day Blais posted a photo album of their trip on Facebook.
“We haven’t heard from my little sister for three weeks,” says Melanie Blais in a social media message. “She was expected in Togo before Christmas for a humanitarian project but never visited.”
The two were supposed to arrive in Togo to work with Zion’Gaïa, a tropical reforestation project. The organization director says they never heard from Blais and Tacchetto, and have joined in sharing the search information on social media.
Some reports have put Blais in Bobo-Dioulasso, where the travelers stayed before planning to leave for Ouagadougou and then onward. The family says there is no record of a visa, or a border crossing into Togo or Ghana.
“In the last 24 hours we have practically gotten no sleep,” said Jocelyne Bergeron, mother of Blais, in an interview published Saturday by the Canadian CBC news outlet.
Bergeron has created a Facebook page to try and help find her daughter and Tacchetto. It is available here.
Image: Edith Blais