01/22/2013 09:11 EST | Updated 03/24/2013 05:12 EDT

Tania Murrell Missing: Search For Edmonton Girl Who Vanished Enters Third Decade


Three decades have passed in the search for an Edmonton girl who vanished on her way home from school one day in 1983.

Edmonton police detective Howie Antoniuk says the case of Tania Murrell haunts him and frustrates him.

Six-year-old Tania had gone to school with her brother and was supposed to go home with him for lunch that day.

But for some reason she headed in the opposite direction instead, toward what was a convenience store at that time.

In the last thirty years, investigators have waded through thousands of documents and tips but have come up empty-handed.

Antoniuk says it's like she just vanished from the face of the earth.

"No clothing, no body, nothing like that,'' he says. "Nothing, that is the most puzzling part of this.''

The little girl's disappearance sparked the creation of the first Alberta chapter of Child Find.

The organization said the case continues to serve as a reminder to parents to empower their children with knowledge of what to do in the face of danger, and how to avoid it.

An agency spokesman said these days, the threat has spread online -- so parents should talk to their children about potential cyber dangers.

"There's been a shift in the way that children are being harmed, from a physical manner of kind of being plucked off a street if you will, to in front of a computer,'' said Brad Bostock.

That's good advice for detectives, who are still hoping to help the family find closure.

"I'm sure somebody out there knows something,'' Antoniuk said. "Someone said something to somebody, but I need somebody to come forward.''

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