Monday, May 08, 2017

Mystery Monday: Emma Fillipoff

It's Monday, which means it's time for another...

Few mysteries haunt true crime fans like the disappearance of this beautiful young woman:

Emma Fillipoff was a free spirit, artistic in nature. She grew up in Perth, Ontario, Canada as one of four kids to a schoolteacher and a painter. Emma wrote and danced and was always looking for new adventures.

She was a very giving, open person, which made it easier for someone to attach to her. This is exactly what happened with a man named Julien, who befriended Emma and pursued her relentlessly. He repeatedly called her house and showed up places he knew she'd be. Emma was too nice to let him down roughly.

Image credit: Finding Emma, The Fifth Estate

Julien Huard was infatuated with Emma, but he claims it was nothing more than a crush. He also says it was sheer coincidence that when Emma chose to move to Victoria, British Columbia in 2011, he moved to the area, as well, 14 months later. He happened to run into her on the street soon after.

Emma worked briefly as a chef at a restaurant called Red Fish Blue Fish, but the work was seasonal. When the summer season ended at the end of October 2012, she told everyone she'd be back in the spring.

Image credit: Finding Emma, The Fifth Estate

However, things already weren't going well for Emma. Her family didn't realize she'd been living at a women's shelter since February and in November, she was seen on security footage at a YMCA. She entered and exited the building six times, behaving as though someone was outside.

Image credit: Finding Emma, The Fifth Estate

Her behavior during this time was reported as odd, both by her "admirer" Julien and workers at the women's shelter. The women's shelter workers said she moved a bunch of furniture from inside the shelter to the front lawn, complaining that the items were talking to her. 

Julien said the first time he ran into her, she seemed happy to see him but during subsequent run-ins, she was distant and cold. The final time he saw her, he claims to have made the decision to leave her alone because she seemed to not want anything to do with him.

On the day of her disappearance, November 28, 2012, Emma left the women's shelter early in the morning. Security footage captured her at 8:30 a.m. at a 7-Eleven, buying a $200 prepaid credit card.

Image credit: Finding Emma, The Fifth Estate

That evening, she returned to the same store to buy a prepaid cell phone. Emma had never owned a cell phone before, so it was odd for her to suddenly buy one. After buying it, she didn't leave, though. She stood at the door, looking out, pacing back and forth.

Image credit: Finding Emma, The Fifth Estate

In the days leading up to her disappearance, Emma had written in her journal that she felt like someone was following her. She finally left the store, but didn't get far. She got into a cab and asked to go to the airport, but said she didn't have the fare. (She did.) She had him drop her off near where he picked her up. She got out of the car. A man recognized her and saw her behavior as odd. She was standing at a crosswalk, refusing to cross, but looking around as though searching for someone.

After standing with her for a while, the man ducked into a nearby business and called the police. They showed up and interviewed her, but let her go when they saw no reason to detain her. Emma was never seen again.

Perhaps most haunting are the words Emma herself wrote soon before disappearing:

to everyone
from dead Emma
I figure someone will be on this computer at some point and will read this
okay, so I'm dead 
floating about on energy or not
watching dying stars, reviving stars
and dreaming milky dreams and shadow dancing on your timelines
or whatever
good luck everyheart
I love you

What do you think happened to Emma Fillipoff?