By Colin Payne - Golden
Jul 04 2007
A school teacher from Canmore who went missing on Friday, June 22, was found lying unconscious on the side of Upper Donald Road in Golden by two residents on Thursday, June 28.
Julie Martel, 28, gave birth to her second child last Thursday night, and subsequently went missing on Friday.
The new mother was reported to have been showing signs of post-partum depression, and had talked about running away in the time leading up to her disappearance.
She left Canmore without a vehicle or a cell phone, but police tracked her bank card activity and found she had most recently used it in Golden.
Martel was found six days after she disappeared, in a dishevelled and malnourished state, just past the dump on Upper Donald Road by Karl McLean and Yvonne Knight as they were heading home from running errands in downtown Golden.
"When we first stopped, we thought it was a hit and run," McLean says.
"But we had gone to do laundry and I saw her picture in the window (of the laundromat)," Knight notes. "I said, 'Oh my, that's the lady that's missing'."
McLean called 911 right away, while Knight hurried to look after the unconcious woman.
Knight found Martel to be alive, but in a bad state.
"Her eyes opened and I leaned down and asked if she was alright," Knight says. "She lifted her head, said she was exhausted and then put it down again on the rocks. She looked dehydrated."
Knight said she tried to give her some liquid, but said Martel could barely even lift her head to take a drink from the straw.
"She had scratches on her face," McLean adds. "She looked emaciated and could barely talk at all.
"Her T-shirt was on backwards and she didn't have her glasses. There was no blood or anything like that. But she was all covered in branches, sticks and dirt."
After being unable to get an estimated time of arrival for an ambulance, the two decided to take it upon themselves to take Martel to hospital.
They flagged down the next passing vehicle, a brown van, and the driver helped them get Martel into the passenger seat of McLean's car.
"I got in the back so I could hold her from behind, because she passed out on me," Knight says.
"I was patting her on the shoulder and saying 'It's OK. Everything's OK'."
They took Martel to the emergency department at Golden and District General Hospital, where Knight got her a wheelchair and they took her in.
According to hospital staff who evaluated her, Martel was dehydrated, but in stable condition when she arrived at the hospital.
Knight went to visit Martel and bring her some flowers on Friday, to find that she'd already left.
"We kind of felt responsible for her," she says.
Martel was held for observation for a while at the Golden and District General Hospital and then transferred to a Calgary hospital for further treatment and observation.