Mekayla Bali was just sixteen years old when she went missing in April 2016.
The case haunts the Bali family, the Canadian public and all of those on the internet that have dove into this horrifying and mysterious case. It has drawn in many internet sleuths and Mekayla even has a Reddit page dedicated to case discussion, alongside a hum of activity about Mekayla’s mystery on Websleuths.
Mekayla’s whereabouts need explaining.
The family needs closure.
And yet, the case continues to baffle investigators, internet sleuths and those with a vested interest in Mekayla’s safe return.
Mekayla was an intelligent young girl. She was a good student, a good daughter and (on face value) your typical teenage girl.
She had big dreams, wanted to leave her small Canadian town of Yorkton and had desires that even spanned going to America one day.
She was shy but also sociable, she had many friends online including on various social media apps such as Kik, Snapchat, and Instagram.
Like any youngster, Mekayla had the world at her feet and her life before her…
And everything seems to have vanished on the 12th of April 2016…
With few leads or answers as to why?
CAN THE INTERNET HELP FIND MEKAYLA?
Mekayla was born in 1999 and was 16 at the time of her disappearance. She had battled with acne, something she was extremely insecure about and she took regular medication for her acne. On the day of her disappearance, Mekayala did not pack her medication, which led investigators to believe that she had every intention of returning home on that fateful April day.
An Unusual Day - “Hey, I need your help”
It started at 6.41 in the morning - Mekayla texted her friend Oksana and asked for a ride to the bank. She told Oksana that she needed to withdraw $5,000.00 (later found to be untrue during the investigation).
Oksana told Mekayla that she could not do it. And at 8.20 am, Mekayla entered Sacred Heart High School and attended classes. She went straight to her locker, and six minutes later she exited the school through the back entrance.
Mekayla went straight to the bank. She walked in at ten to nine in the morning and was seen talking on the phone via the CCTV footage (this would be a trademark of the day).
When the teller opened the shutters, Mekayla appeared to immediately end the call and withdrew 55 dollars from her account.
She entered a pawn shop and tried to hawk a private ring. The owner refused the sale and sent Mekayla away.
There was an apparent urgency and desperation to Mekayla’s morning and her demeanour. She was reportedly approaching strangers desperate to book a hotel room or go to Regina a neighbouring town.
Mekayla later that morning, entered Tim Horton’s and ordered a drink. She sat in the booth with her backpack. This was unusual behaviour, as Mekayla never wore a backpack to school.
There seemed to be an intention to leave Yorkton, however, there is also the matter of the forgotten acne medication.
Mekayla also never went anywhere without her make-up kit, except on that day, which leads investigators to believe that despite indicating a desire to leave town - she had every intention of coming back later that day.
At 9.23 am she exited the Tim Hortons, and then walked back in through a separate exit.
She came back into the Tim Hortons at 9.49 am while on the phone with someone. Mekyala was shown on the CCTV footage disassembling the phone and putting it back together again.
Call records didn’t show any calls made and it seems apparent that the calls were made through an unidentified app. The identity of the person that she made the call is vital information missing from the case.
At 10.12 am she texted her friend Shelby: Hey, I need help.
She then responded later saying: Nevermind, I figured it out.
And at 10.43 am Mekayla approached a woman and asked the woman to rent a hotel for her.
The woman refused and Mekayla later exited the Tim Hortons again on the phone.
At lunchtime, Mekayla returned to school and then went on to the bus depot. She ordered a meal at the Trail Stop restaurant there - this was the last sighting of Mekayla.
Her phone went off and the trail went cold.
That evening she was reported missing by her mother and grandmother.
It was a strange day accompanied by a flurry of strange behaviour by Mekayla.
What Happened? The Theories…
Mekayla seemingly vanished into thin air on the 12th of April 2016. And the reasons and theories are inconsistent and inconclusive.
Investigators did find a second Instagram account under Mekayla’s name. The account had zero activity but the about me section read “Goodbye.”
Mekayla posted her Snapchat profile in February 2016 with the caption “Looking for Snapchat friends because I have none in real life. Add me…. Please don’t be a greasy fuck and send me gross ass nudes. Just looking for a friend.”
Mekayla told friends that she planned a trip to Regina, which is about 150 miles away from Yorkton.
There was also a gentleman named Christopher that Mekayla had planned to visit in Saskatchewan. Police searched Christopher’s home and there was no evidence that he was even in Canada at the time of his disappearance. Christopher lived in the USA (in North Carolina) and had a cast iron alibi, he did, however, reveal to CBC News that Mekayla had told him about a previous suicide attempt. There was also a suggestion that Mekayla had scars from self-harm and attempted suicide.
Mekayla had an estranged father, who has since emerged for the first time, since Mekayla’s disappearance. Mekayla never knew the man and Mekayla’s mother was somewhat guarded in what she revealed about Mekayla’s father.
But now, Rick Breit has put himself forward as Mekayla’s biological father - he has been active in the various Saskatoon communities and has been an active voice trying to find Mekayla.
Reported sightings of any missing person, at times, have to be taken with a grain of salt, however, there were reported sightings of Mekayla in Vancouver, Edmonton and Penticton.
The police have never confirmed a suspect in this case but they do have a ‘person of interest’ that they have announced as a potential suspect.
This person was seen by witnesses leaving the Trail Stop Restaurant with Bali. He was stocky, muscular and had a fiery cross tattoo on his arm. The police questioned the man, and he explained he was merely holding the door open for Mekayla…
This man remains uncharged.
Two of Bali’s classmates told police that Mekayla had Oxycodone (a powerful opioid). Mekayla brought the drug to school to show friends.
“We are always open and aware that there are drugs in high school,” one of the investigating officers said.
“There’s a different kind of drugs and drugs getting passed around but in Mekayla’s case we don’t have any evidence to suggest that drugs were a factor in this.”
Police Detective Kim Stewart says that to this day she still looks for Bali, years after the case was transferred outside of her unit.
There is the possibility that Mekayla’s erratic behaviour on the day suggests that she ran away. Sick of small-town Canadian life, Mekayla possibly decided to just up sticks and leaves.
This can be supported by some of her sombre and cryptic social media posts - the need for a hotel/trip to the bus stop, the second Instagram and “goodbye message”.
The darker side of human nature can appear in cases such as these, and Mekayla may have left herself vulnerable to an online predator with a premeditated intention or a real-world predator that stumbled upon a vulnerable girl in a vulnerable situation.
Both leave the imagination full of grim ideas and draw a horrific conclusion.
Whatever happened, we need to close this case, whether it ends up being good news or bad, the family deserves closure, and Mekayla’s mother deserves closure. Canada deserves closure on this awful disappearance.
Below is a list of the aliases that Mekayla used:
The reward is now at $100,000 (Canadian) for Mykela’s safe return. Mekayla would now be 22, and the time her mother has lost with her is unfathomable. I appeal to those on the internet to keep the case fresh and active.
The following information is theories taken from Reddit:
(Credit Reddit Discussions)
Firstly, officials at the school do not wish to comment on the investigation and forward anyone inquiring into the case to the RCMP. But there is still information available that gives us some insight:
The school has a policy in place which notifies parents or caregivers if a child is absent or late. This is an automatic process and the school indicated they would have automatically contacted the parent or guardian.
When did PB (Pauli Bali) receive word that MB (Mekayla Bali) was not attending school?
Friends of Mekayla suggest she often skipped school or ditched some classes.
PB said in the podcast interview that the school threw out her locker belongings. However, the school maintains they did not and that everything was handed over to the RCMP. This leads me to believe that there is some worry that the belongings would trigger something else - and the quick narrative provided by Paula, that the school threw the belongings out and they do not exist anymore, is misleading and a lie. If the belongings are gone, and non-existent, then no one will question them, or suspect anything is relevant there.
PB indicated the school did not search. The school maintains they have and are fully cooperating with RCMP. No search was requested as MB was seen on security footage leaving the school.
PB suggests the school does not care for MB and denied a request to have an empty seat at graduation time in her honour. The school did not respond to this question, but a staff member says this request was never made.
The search behind the school was conducted many months after. The tip came from a psychic who claims to have contacted MB's spirit and indicated she had passed on and is in the water behind the school. RCMP later learned fully where the tip came from and an extensive ground search earlier did not give any clues. Given the ridiculous nature of the clue, the RCMP probably did not want to further waste time on a water search.
None of MB's friends, including her "best friend" at school, helped in any search, helped in any manner or assisted in any way. Not even a single missing poster was posted at the school. Many of her classmates did not know she was missing until days and even weeks later. Some indicated they thought she committed suicide or ran away from home indicating they believe she was not happy and depressed. They also note that she did smoke weed and perhaps did other drugs, but are not certain. They claim she was very elusive and was smart about getting out of trouble or avoiding trouble with her mom and school. For the most part, everyone was "off the record.