Police are asking for the public’s help as they search for a teenage actress and her friend who have been missing in the Toronto area for nearly a week.
Fourteen-year-old Abigail Bergman — who acts on the Family Channel’s “Next Step” series — and her friend Polinah Ouskova, 15, were reported missing by their families after they didn’t return to their Oakville, Ont. homes on Monday night.
After hearing from each girl’s family separately, police determined the teens likely disappeared together.
“These two girls have gone missing before together, and police did locate and return them home,” said Sgt. Chantal Corner, a spokeswoman for the Halton Regional Police.
The previous disappearance, however, didn’t last this long, Corner said, adding that police were working hard to find the pair.
“Investigators are still following up with any kind of tips that we’re receiving from the community, from people that know them, we are working with the families as well,” she said.
“Our efforts are continuous and we’re doing our best just to catch up, locate them and bring them home.”
Police believe the two girls were last seen together at Toronto’s Union Station on Tuesday evening. The railway hub connects the city to parts of the Greater Toronto Area, and also has trains to destinations across the country and the U.S.
“Anything right now is possible until we make some sort of contact or we have another sighting,” Corner said when asked about whether the girls might have left the GTA altogether. “We’re following up with every lead that we can.”
Anyone who sees the girls or knows anything about their location is being asked to contact police or Crime Stoppers.
There are also hopes that Bergman in particular may be recognized by someone who watches her show. She has a recurring role as a character named Abi on the show about a group of teenage dancers.
“The Next Step” twitter page has been posting updates from police on the teens’ disappearance and is also asking anyone with information to contact authorities.
“We’re hoping that someone who is a fan of the show might recognize them if they see them,” said Jaime Basset, a spokeswoman for DHX Television, who owns The Family Channel, which airs the show.
“Everyone is concerned for both Abi and Polinah’s safety and hope that they return home to their families as soon as possible.”
Both girls are described as white, about five-foot-two and about 110 pounds.
Bergman has newly dyed blond hair and was last seen wearing an Adidas zip-up track suit style jacket and dark leggings or slim jeans.
Polinah has long blonde hair and was last seen wearing a black Bench jacket and dark pants.
Diana Mehta, The Canadian Press
Thanks for reading!
Energeticcity.ca is the voice of the Peace, bringing issues that matter to the forefront with independent journalism. Our job is to share the unique values of the Peace region with the rest of B.C. and make sure those in power hear us. From your kids’ lemonade stand to natural resource projects, we cover it – but we need your support. Give $10 a month to Energeticcity.ca today and be the reason we can cover the next story.