Jordan Bonaparte is several thousand miles and five provinces removed from Yorkton, but he makes sure to keep up with the local news. The Nova Scotian keeps tabs on developments and press releases about the Mekayla Bali investigation. At home in Halifax, he has a large binder of reports, press clippings, and online posts on the case.
Bonaparte avidly follows mysteries around the world. His podcast, “The Night Time,” focuses on unsolved whodunits, paranormal activities, and true-crime stories, mostly around Atlantic Canada.
Bonaparte has also covered cases from across the country, such as the disappearance of Emma Fillipoff in British Columbia.
Bonaparte has been following the Bali case for months, after his listeners brought it to his attention. A father himself, Bonaparte took a special interest in the case.
“I’ve become an advocate for families of missing people,” he said.
“Initially, I thought it was a clear-cut case of a runaway teen,” he said. “The longer it went, the less likely it was a runaway [case].”
Bonaparte decided to record an episode about Mekayla Bali for his podcast. He wants to elevate the profile of Bali’s case to an international stage.
“I wanted to raise awareness,” he said.
The episode, entitled “Where is Mekayla Bali?”, was released on August 15. It received over 35,000 downloads on its first day.
Coincidentally, the episode’s release came out the same day as the police announced a new search for Bali. They looked around the forested area behind Sacred Heart High School, which is one of the last spots where Mekayla was seen.
The search concluded after two days. In a press release, Saskatchewan RCMP said Bali is still considered missing.
Paula Bali, Mekayla’s mother, read a prepared statement to the press about the search.
“I would like to...applaud the amazing search and rescue volunteers who have given so much of themselves unselfishly,” she said. “You are heroes to our family.”
Paula thanked the RCMP for their continued investigation. She encouraged anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers or the local police.
Paula spoke with Bonaparte for the podcast. Bonaparte reached out to Paula and got to know her. After a few conversations, Paula agreed to be interviewed for the episode.
Bonaparte has received a high-level of messages from people regarding the episode. Many listeners have offered theories and words of encouragement.
“People all over world are listening to the story,” Bonaparte said.
Events such as Bonaparte’s show and the recent investigation keeps the Bali case in people’s mind. Bonaparte plans to follow up on the story down the line.
“This is my way to help,” he said.