Yellowknife man begs public for help finding his missing common-law wife Toni Tobac

Russell Hamilton in an earlier photo with Toni Tobac. The Yellowknife mother was missing in Edmonton and has now been found.

Toni Tobac has been missing in Edmonton since April 21.

by Brandi Morin

(ANNews) – A Yellowknife father is pleading for help to find his common-law wife Toni Tobac who vanished from the Stollery Children’s hospital in Edmonton last Tuesday evening.

Russell Hamilton says he spoke with Tobac via telephone around 8: 30 p.m. on April 21. She was with their son in the hospital where the one-and-a-half-month-old was recovering from surgery for pyloric stenosis.

The baby and mother were medivaced from Yellowknife on April 20.

“She said I love you babe. I’m going to have a nap now with our baby,” said Hamilton.

Around 11 p.m. that same evening Hamilton called to check-in on Tobac. When he called the hospital after she didn’t respond on her cell phone, he learned a charge nurse was tending to his son, and Tobac was nowhere to be found.

“The nurse said Toni told her she was going for coffee with her brother, but she doesn’t have a brother there,” said Hamilton.

This discrepancy set off alarm bells and the next day Hamilton called the Edmonton Police to file a missing persons report. He was unable to reach Tobac via her cell phone because it only works with a wifi connection.

As the hours ticked by with no sign of Tobac, Hamilton said he started to panic.

“She’s a really good mother. I can understand maybe if she took off for a day,” said Hamilton who shared he and Tobac once struggled with addictions but have worked to overcome them. “But I can’t understand her leaving for any longer. If you could see the way she loves these kids, she doted on them.”

The two have been together for seven years and have three children together all under the age of three, said Hamilton. Tobac also helps raise his six year old daughter. When a social worker called after Tobac disappeared, Hamilton said he was relieved Alberta Children’s Services helped to get his son back to him.

“I begged them not to apprehend my son because Toni is missing and they were very helpful.”

The police, however, have ignored his pleas for help, he says. After filing a missing persons report he said nothing has been done to find his wife. He was told via email that no one works in the missing persons department on the weekend.

“That made me pissed off. So, people are only allowed to go missing Monday to Friday? They haven’t told me a damn thing about what they’re doing to find her. Come on, you got to do something!”

Since making a post about Tobac missing on his Facebook page (that’s now been shared thousands of times), Hamilton learned Tobac may be with a man named Ernest Junior Manuel in Edmonton.

Several people connected to Manuel got in touch with Hamilton and Tobac’s cousin Jeanette Tobac to let them know Manuel was in communication with them. Jeanette lives in Fort Good Hope, NWT and is working day and night using wifi and her cell phone to try to track down Tobac. 

“He (Ernest) said she’s with him and she’s OK,” said Jeanette who’s never met Manuel but says Tobac has a child with his brother. “But I told him (through his family) we need to hear from her, to hear her voice so we know she’s OK. But then he stops talking.”

She said Manuel provided family members with an address to where he was with Tobac but the address turned out to be fake. Jeanette hopes her cousin is not in danger but suspects that wherever she is, she’s being held against her will.

It’s out of character for Tobac to leave, especially her young baby, she said. Jeanette’s gathered a group of volunteers who are combing the streets of Edmonton looking for Tobac. Yesterday, searchers drove around for eight hours. 

“I’ve been using social media and doing what I can to find her. It’s so frustrating being way up here, but I feel like I have more eyes on the street than the police out looking for her.”

Meanwhile, Hamilton also believes Tobac’s in danger.

“She’s being held against her will…or something else terrible happened and I don’t want to think about that. This is horrible, to be so far up here with my kids. I have no babysitter and I can’t afford to go down there. Whoever is with her is playing one hell of a sick, twisted game.” 

24 Comments on "Yellowknife man begs public for help finding his missing common-law wife Toni Tobac"

  1. Heather Blancher | April 26, 2020 at 11:52 am | Reply

    After reading this story I too fear for her safety. The cops are being assholes. Wish I could help somehow. The little ones need both parents.

  2. Love you toni
    I hope you return to your family
    Baby’s need you 😭

  3. I heard she’s partying in inner city?

  4. Kevin mackie | April 26, 2020 at 2:38 pm | Reply

    Good luck!!

  5. Sad how EPS won’t take missing persons case during the weekend where most likely most shit happens and have to wait til Monday to report is bullshit

  6. If phone only works in wifi it’s TXT app then u no u can log into if u no email and password will bring up the convo etc

  7. If she actually went off on her own will and is being bad than I hope access to children is denied

  8. Oshie Guenter | April 26, 2020 at 6:05 pm | Reply

    I will
    Post this as I was recently in Edmonton and hanging with a tough crowd hopefully someone knows something

    • Why would a tough crowd know of her whereabouts instead of a good crowd? That’s some judgement you are passing there. No one in a tough crowd wants to be a rat anyway if she does not want to be found.

  9. She’s up on charges for drug trafficking, maybe has warrants and doesnt want to be found?

  10. Yep. This is definitely the cops fault. If it wasn’t for them, nobody would be going through this right now. What are they good for anyway?

  11. Michael Qammaniq | April 26, 2020 at 10:10 pm | Reply

    Fkn cops just sitting around there office

  12. I really hope you find her. Your in my thoughts & Prayers.

  13. Prayers up

  14. I hate to put this out there but not knowing what type of family has my concern! I always am concerned that the woman is possibly fleeing an abusive situation and the last thing she wants to do is be found!!! It’s very sad and I hope that’s not the case but having been in several bad relationships where I have had to take off to in order to protect myself it’s a concern that I have when it’s not a post that is from the police because anybody could make posts and be looking for people!!! A tonne of people share because they want to help and they don’t consider all the different reasons why they can’t locate someone!!! I pray that she is found safe and sound I can’t imagine how stressful this could be!!! 🥰

  15. I’m so mad that the police are not helping him! If a family member is telling the police something is not right, they need to support him and look for his wife! She is a mother and she needs to be reunited with her family. May God watch over her, her husband and their children and bring her home safely and unharmed!!🙏🙏🙏❤😥

  16. Praying for safe return!

  17. Margaret Howard LeVasseur | April 28, 2020 at 10:21 am | Reply

    Very sad…hope this Mother can be found, so she can be back with her husband and children….children NEED their mother and father.

  18. Someone has to help this man find his wife. The police is useless when it comes to native’s. Sending prayers his way that she’s ok.

  19. EPS requires to take a missing person concern seriously & responsibly! This Mother has been unaccounted for 1 week & whomever is claiming she’s fine, is obviously dishonest! Whom provides a ‘fake address’? EPS, PROTECT & SERVE!

  20. I pray for your common wife a safe return she most likely misses her babies and you,my common law husband’s been missing for 3 years now April16 would of been 40 yrs so yes I feel for your loss,and I pray for your emptiness,I think every morning of my best friend and companion,all we got to do is never give up,god bless

  21. Cheyanne Jack | May 3, 2020 at 6:01 pm | Reply

    I am praying for her safety, and HOPE she gets back to you and the kids safe and sound.
    Sending you and the family lots of prayers, strength and much LOVE from London, Ontario CANADA

  22. That’s the cops for ya. Prejudice jackasses. It’s a god badge you know. I used to have such respect for them. I wouldn’t call copsnif my life depended on it and it has. I hope he finds his wife. It should not be ignored.

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