It has now been more than five months since a senior woman from the Rural Municipality of Piney went missing. And police in Manitoba are still trying to figure out what happened to her.

According to RCMP, 70-year-old Jean Backman last made contact with a friend on October 15th. Four days later, Sprague RCMP received a request to check on her wellbeing. Officers attended and searched her property and residence but were unable to locate her. Here we are, nearly half a year later, and Backman is still missing. In fact, some have said that it literally feels like she vanished into thin air. 

Corporal Julie Courchaine with Manitoba RCMP says back in October they had their search team out in addition to Police Dog Services and drones. She notes an extensive ground search was done at that time. The Office of the Fire Commissioner and the Hutterian Emergency Aquatic Response Team (HEART) also helped out.

Courchaine says RCMP have conducted interviews, released photos, and have followed up on all leads, yet they still have no answers. And Courchaine says there have not been any significant new tips.

According to Courchaine, investigators continue to work with the family and are also liaising with Major Crime Services. She notes Major Crime Services is looking over the file to make sure there is nothing that investigators are missing.

"They are just doing kind of everything they can to try and find her," she adds.

Courchaine says this is still considered a missing persons file, noting there is no evidence to suggest that Backman has passed away. 

"We don't know where she is and we don't have any indications of what could have happened, so, right now it's still treated as a missing person," she explains. "Of course, if we get information that leads us elsewhere, then we'll have to evaluate that at that time."

And, even though Backman has been missing for more than 150 days, Courchaine says never say never, suggesting crazier things have happened. She says one thing they need to consider is that maybe Backman left on her own and wants to be missing. However, there is also the possibility that she was abducted, though Courchaine is quick to point out that there is nothing to indicate that. 

"There's just so many things that may have happened," she says. "We're aware of that and going to look at every angle."

With a new season now upon us and most of the snow gone, Courchaine encourages individuals in the RM of Piney to be on alert and report anything that might seem suspicious. 

"We're just hoping someone somewhere has information and will share that with us," she adds. 

Backman's family has said Jean, who lives by herself, has no health concerns and that there is nothing to suggest in her house that she was planning on leaving for any length of time.

Courchaine admits this is a very unique file and not the type they see very often in Manitoba. Anyone with information is asked to contact RCMP.