Emma Fillipoff has been missing since Nov. 2012, but a new tip has sparked interest from family, friends and a famous search dog handler. (Facebook/Help Find Emma Fillipoff)

Emma Fillipoff has been missing since Nov. 2012, but a new tip has sparked interest from family, friends and a famous search dog handler. (Facebook/Help Find Emma Fillipoff)

New lead on missing Victoria woman Emma Fillipoff sparks dog search

A witness came forward this summer saying he saw her the morning of Nov. 29, 2012

A new witness has stepped forward with information in regards to Emma Fillipoff’s missing person’s case.

Emma Filipoff was last seen on Nov. 28, 2012 after she was spotted standing barefoot by the Empress Hotel. At the time Fillipoff spoke to police for about 45 minutes before they determined she was safe to continue on her way. That was the last time she was seen.

Until a new witness, simply identified as William, told Emma’s mother, Shelley Fillipoff, that he had seen her on the morning of Nov. 29 while driving to work.

“He did have a great deal of struggle not saying anything,” Fillipoff said. “His family urged him not to come forward because he might be implicated, but he came forward anyway.”

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William spotted Emma while driving to Saanich from Esquimalt, driving up Admirals Road after she jumped off the street onto the sidewalk and seemed to be in distress.

William pulled over, asked if she was okay and found her to be very afraid of something he couldn’t see. William offered to give her a ride into town on his way to work. After she got in the car, he said she was very calm, and asked William to take her to her friend’s place in Colwood.

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William was late to his new job, and offered instead to drop her off closer to Colwood.

At 5:15 a.m. William dropped Emma off at the intersection of Craigflower Road and Admirals Road near the Petro Canada gas station.

The tip sparked hope in Shelley Fillipoff, who reached out to famous search dog handler Kim Cooper, who has been featured in CBC’s “Someone Knows Something” podcast and National Geographic’s “Finding Dial.” Cooper agreed to volunteer her time for the search.

“I am excited and nervous, but this is what I’ve wanted, more information,” Fillipoff said. “I’ve always been prepared to face the inevitable. I do think it may be inevitable that Emma is no longer alive after so long, but I have hope.”

Fillipoff has started a GoFundMe page to help raise funds for Cooper to fly over and stay in Victoria for three days as they conduct a wide search. Tentatively, Fillipoff, Cooper and a large volunteer team are hoping to search the Craigflower bridge, Gorge Waterway, railroad tracks from Vic West to Colwood, the Galloping Goose Trail, Portage Park and Inlet, Goldstream Park and Thetis Lake from Dec. 1 to Dec. 3.

So far over $1,700 has been raised for the cause, with a total goal of $6,425.

For more information on the case, you can head to the “Search for Emma Filipoff” podcast, written by search volunteer Kimberly Bordage.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


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