Family in Edmonton hope to reconnect with Alberta sisters found after missing for 30 years
Anna and Kym Hakze hadn't been seen by family since the mid 1980s, and officially reported missing in 2003.
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The family of two Alberta women who haven't been seen since the 1980s say they hope to restart a relationship with their once missing kin.
Fingerprints confirmed that two Alberta sisters, Kym and Anna Hakze, reported missing in 2003, but not seen for decades, are alive and well in the United States.
Lethbridge police confirmed the duo were positively identified by fingerprints after a lengthy investigation into their alleged disappearance.
The sisters' mother reported the two as missing in 2003 after not having seen or heard from them since the mid 1980s. They were last seen by family in Edmonton at that time.
According to Lethbridge police, Anna, now 67, and Kym, now 53, were inseparable, but at the time Anna was not connected to family. The pair disappeared together and hadn't contacted relatives since.
Their brother, Edmonton resident Ken Hakze, said the past is the past, and he's hoping his sisters will reach out to learn more about the family that's always held out hope they would be found alive.
"The questions (about their disappearance) are of no matter now," said Ken.
"I'd just like to move forward to see if we could rebuild our lives in a way that is working together and getting to know each other - and just to be thankful that they're alive and we're alive."
Ken, along with his two brothers, said when he was younger he didn't fully realize they were gone - he thought it was something that was temporary.
"That's where my hope stemmed from," said Ken.
"There never was a finality to them being gone because there was always that hope that I would see them soon enough - but not 30 plus years later."
Lethbridge police said the investigation spanned two decades, multiple detectives and a lot of dead ends. They'd followed dozens of leads, including DNA submissions from family.
“After so many years it’s very unusual for a case like this to end with good news,” said Staff Sgt. Scott Woods, who oversees the Criminal Investigation Section, with the Lethbridge Police Service.
“Usually we find ourselves telling a family their loved one has met with some sort of tragedy or more often than not in a case of this age, never being able to provide any answers.”
A break in the case came during an annual file review in January when it was discovered that a theft report had been filed to the Vancouver Police Department 1999 with an alias attached to it of Anna Hakze. While the person wasn't Anna, they provided police with information involving a Crime Stoppers tip received in 2012, involving an author of several books with an alias believed to be used by Kym Hakze.
By doing an online search of the author's name, police located a recent story that had a photo of the woman and the area she was living.
In late February, US police attended the home of Kym Hakze, who no longer goes by that name, and confirmed her identity by fingerprint match.
Ken said they haven't been able to contact his sisters yet, due to privacy reasons, but he confirmed the sisters have been made aware of the desire to reconnect.
"The ball is now in their court," Ken said.
LPS has been in contact with Kym Hakze and she told them that they didn't know they'd been reported missing and had simply walked away from their lives decades earlier.
They have not yet directly spoken with Anna, but they have confirmed her location.