Over the weekend, the RCMP utilized the Deer Lake Underwater Search and Recovery Team and its side-scan sonar to search Northern Arm Harbour, near St. Anthony.
The 38-year-old woman has been missing from St. Anthony since Nov. 30, 2016.
Hillier-Penney was last known to be at the house she formerly shared with her estranged husband, Dean Penney, who had been away on a duck hunting trip at his cabin in the Northwest Arm area — about 45 minutes away.
Hillier-Penney vanished without a trace, but left behind personal items such as her cellphone, purse, coat and shoes. The keys were still in the ignition of her car that was left in the driveway.
The RCMP early on deemed the case suspicious.
In the days following her being reported missing, the RCMP organized massive ground, water and air searches, but no sign of Hillier-Penney was found. Family members carried out further widespread searches with the aid of many people in the town, but still there was no sign of Hillier-Penney.
The case has shaken the Northern Peninsula town to its core.
The searches were stopped for the winter until snow cleared from the area.
In a statement to The Telegram Monday, the RCMP said, “The RCMP investigation into the disappearance of Jennifer Lynn Hillier-Penney is active. RCMP recently conducted a series of searches in St. Anthony and south of the community. This included ground and water searches.
“(The RCMP and the Deer Lake team) searched several bodies of water in the area, including the harbour and nearby inlets.”
The RCMP did not say if any new information resulted from the searches.
Meanwhile, Hillier-Penney’s family and friends say they will not give up until they find out what happened to her.
The Telegram ran a series of stories last week on the Hillier-Penney case — and three other unsolved missing-person cases in St. Anthony. All four cases occurred within a 15-year period.
The RCMP asks anyone who may have information about the disappearance of Hillier-Penney to contact the St. Anthony RCMP at 709-454-3543. To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers toll-free at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), text TIP190 + your message to ‘CRIMES’ (274637), or at www.nlcrimestoppers.com.
Additional article: St. Anthony residents step up to help