Supernatural abilities, however, not used by RCMP in any capacity
Incense. Candles. Pendulums. Crystal balls.
While these objects may seem foreign in our daily lives, they are but a common sight for Patricia Monna.
Monna is a psychic practitioner who assists law enforcement in solving missing persons cases. She is also the owner of Our Angels Center for Well Being, a local psychic shop in Marda Loop.
"I've known I was psychic my whole life. But it wasn't until my parents passed away that I even opened up to the possibility that my gift could go somewhere," Monna said.
After the back-to-back losses of both her parents — her father to an accident at work and her mother to breast cancer — Monna turned to what she calls her "psychic gift" for comfort and fulfillment.
She said that all her life she was taught to suppress her psychic abilities. "I remember one of the first visions I had was of myself falling off my bike before it happened."
Brought up in a very born-again Christian household, she was often taken to different pastors in the hopes they would pray the visions and psychic abilities out of her.
"My gift was seen as a hindrance and I was scared it was demonic."
Monna said that her psychic abilities expanded through the grieving process of her parents' death. "It was such a pull, I couldn't deny it any longer. Essentially I turned to my psychic gift because I wanted to be able to talk to my parents.
"I started doing readings out of my home and within a month it all just sort of blew up."
Monna said that through word of mouth she was contacted by Jerry Snyder, a retired law enforcement officer and founder of Find Me.
Homicides to missing persons
Snyder, a retired Arizona drug enforcement officer, said that his non-profit organization consists of retired police, 100 vetted psychic consultants and canine search and rescue professionals. Everyone who is a part of the team works on a volunteer basis.
Snyder said he has worked with Monna on eight cases and "so far she has been exceptional."
"I remember I had been investigating a case where I had already determined who the suspects were," he said. "Patricia came to a meeting a few months after that and described the suspect's house like she was standing right in front of it. There was no way she would have known that information beforehand."
Produced by April Ip
RCMP says no to psychic assistance
Snyder said that since the organization assists in cases worldwide, at least five situations have landed on Canadian soil. While his organization assists at no charge, he confirmed that the RCMP has not been cooperative.
"Unfortunately there is no working with Canadian law enforcement. They have refused working with psychics many times in the past."
He added that the organization has tried explaining what the success ratios have been multiple times. "However when the RCMP already has a certain mindset, it makes it very difficult to search on Canadian land."
Snyder said that in the nine years the organization has been running it has only been turned away 10 times worldwide. Out of those 10 times, five have been by the RCMP.
"I am not sure if they are misinformed or if they are acting out of a pre-set restriction to work with psychics." He said that to date the organization has solved over 25 missing-person cases.
An RCMP spokesman didn't dispute Snyder's claims.
"In all my years of working I have never seen a psychic employed or assigned on a volunteer basis on a specific case," said Patrick Webb, RCMP media relations officer.
He said that typically the RCMP has found that information flowing through psychics is no more or less valuable than someone who calls in with a tip regarding a case.
"We treat psychic information the same way we treat any other type of information that comes through.
"We assess the quality of it and how much value there might be in the tip. Meaning we don't discount it right off but at the same time psychic information doesn't get any more credibility."
Webb said that the RCMP has found a wide range of psychics available.
"If we worked with one psychic we would be asked why we're not working on another. In that case we would also have five to six different pieces of information to follow up on."
Lisa Waykin is one of these other psychics, but said she would like to see Monna take on a more active role in Canadian investigations.
"Patricia is excellent at seeing the intricate details of any given situation," Waykin said.
"I know Patricia can help the families privately, but in terms of RCMP and Canadian law enforcement, she is limited in where she can search for the bodies."
Waykin said that it is unfortunate that Monna is not able to bring peace to certain families who are working with the RCMP.
Monna, meanwhile, said she's disheartened that the RCMP continues to be uncooperative.
"The cadaver dogs have the ability to smell bodies," she said, "I have this natural ability to help as well, but yet they trust dogs instead of humans. Sometimes that is a little hard to handle."
Getting into the psychic zone
However, she's pleased that she has been able to work with Snyder on cases outside of Canada.
"It's awesome volunteering with Find Me because I get information like license plate numbers and the make and model of vehicles. I see things very vividly and can pinpoint how the crimes unfolded.
"I have this crazy gift and if it can help bring a loved one home, that's what I am here for."
Monna said that all psychics working on a case get something similar to a wanted poster.
"We are also provided with the victim's birthday, date missing and the missing from location. After that we use Google Earth to narrow down the latitude and longitude of where the body and suspect are."
Monna said that for her, getting into the psychic zone feels like a memory. "It's like I've watched your movie or I've have read your book. While it may look like I am daydreaming I am actually reminiscing and looking in on your information."