by robert stewart
Advocate staff writer
October 18, 2012
Canadian police are still searching for a Baton Rouge woman missing since Sept. 30 after she took a cruise that traveled to Halifax, Nova Scotia, authorities said Wednesday.
Sarah Tessier Powell, 71, was last seen on board the Holland America cruise ship Veendam, Halifax Regional Police spokesman Constable Pierre Bourdages said in a news release.
“Although we have received a number of tips from the public, we have not been able to locate her,” Bourdages said in the release.
Bourdages did not elaborate on what those tips from the public are.
Police are concerned about Powell’s well-being because she takes medication and may become agitated without it, Bourdages said.
The Veendam left Quebec City on Sept. 30, the last time Powell was accounted for, Holland America spokesman Erik Elvejord has said.
The ship’s next scheduled stops were Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, on Oct. 2; Sydney, Nova Scotia, on Oct. 3; and Halifax on Oct. 4, Elvejord has said.
Authorities in Halifax searched the ship and could not find Powell after realizing she had not checked in, Elvejord has said.
Elvejord has said that passengers on Veendam are required to check on and off the ship using an electronic key card.
Investigators believe Powell may have walked off the ship without being checked by security, Bourdages said. It is not clear where Powell may have disembarked.
Police believe Powell’s disappearance is not due to foul play, Bourdages said.
The cruise ship ended its voyage in Boston on Oct. 6, Elvejord has said.
Bourdages said Wednesday that Halifax police are working with other agencies in the cities the ship passed through — along with Royal Canadian Mounted Police — to find Powell.
Paul Smith, chief of Charlottetown Police Services, said his department has posted a photograph of Powell and information about her disappearance on its website.
Smith said that as of Wednesday, Charlottetown police had not received any information that Powell disembarked the ship in Charlottetown.
The Cape Breton Regional Police department, which covers Sydney, Nova Scotia, did not return messages for comment Wednesday.
Messages left Wednesday for family members of Powell were not immediately returned.
Powell is white, 5 feet 6 inches tall with a thin build and brown shoulder-length hair.
Anyone with information on Powell’s whereabouts is asked to contact Halifax Regional Police at (902) 490-5016.