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'I just feel so empty': Mother opens up after teenaged daughter’s body recovered by police

The body of a woman reported missing in January has been found by Windsor police and her mother is struggling with the confirmation that her daughter is gone.

Gabrielle Marie Vinall was 19 years old when she was reported missing in January 2023. For months, her mother held out hope that Vinall would one day return home. Today, her hopes are dashed.

“I just feel so empty knowing that she's no longer here,” said Andrea North, Vinall’s mother. “And I don't know how I'm supposed to carry on every day without her. She was such a big part of my life.”

On numerous occasions, North made desperate pleas to the public for help locating her missing daughter.

This past week, Vinall’s body was discovered by Windsor police in the Fighting Island area.

“Not knowing for the past six months was one of the hardest things that I've ever had to experience,” North recalls. “But that being said, the outcome of this and the loss that I'm experiencing… I can't even begin to express how heartbroken I am about this whole situation.”

North says the even harder part is that she never got to say goodbye to her daughter.

“I would have given anything just to be able to have the chance to wrap my arms around her and tell her how much I love her,” she said. “And to see that beautiful smile on my daughter's face that everybody loves so much.”

Police do not believe Vinall’s death to be suspicious in nature.

Vinall lived downtown with no fixed address and spent a lot of time at shelters.

“And in the last few years, given the struggle she had, I always, always tried to instill in her that regardless of her choices, nothing could change the amount of love that I had for her,” said North, who remembers her daughter as a caring and beautiful soul.

“She loved her friends and our family more than anything in the world,” North said. “And she would have done anything to help somebody out.”

On Wednesday, North said she’s planning a proper burial for her daughter.

“I can't even begin to express as a parent how this situation makes me feel, it's every parent's worst nightmare,” North said. “No parent ever imagined that they'll be in a position where they have to bury their child.”

She’s now faced with funeral costs and is struggling to afford what she feels is the right way to lay her daughter to rest.

A GoFundMe page has been started to help offset costs.

“Any amount of help would be greatly appreciated. It will definitely take a lot of stress off of myself,” she said. “Gabrielle was a beautiful person and she deserves to be honored and have a proper burial.”

Despite the sadness, North is grateful for the help of police, local shelters and social workers who pinned up missing person posters to help find her daughter.

“It definitely helps knowing that there's people out there who care,” North said. Top Stories

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