The Gallagher family looks back on the first Christmas without hope of Megan's return


Christmas changed for Brian and Deb Gallagher in September 2020 when their 30-year-old daughter Megan went missing in Saskatoon, but they at least had hope that she might be found.

This year, the situation will change again, and not for the better: their hope has given way to the grim certainty that Megan will never come home again.

In November, police said her remains were the same ones found in the South Saskatchewan River, 130 kilometres northeast of Saskatoon.

“It has dramatically changed Christmas for us,” Brian Gallagher said Monday.

“I think it also affects the way other people perceive us. They interact with us, are very polite and cautious in general conversations.”

Nine people are currently facing charges in connection with her disappearance and death, and eight of the defendants are in custody. Summer-Sky Henry, who is accused of first-degree murder, is still at large.

Gallagher estimates his family has appeared in Saskatoon provincial court more than 70 times this year to watch the justice system at work. The Gallaghers were there again Monday and, as usual, watched as lawyers for the accused got the cases postponed until the new year.

Dan Zakreski/CBCDan Zakreski/CBC

Dan Zakreski/CBC

Brian describes the court appearances as “a long, exhausting process for us,” as the nine defendants face 10 different charges. He says it's also daunting.

“I think, you [the accused] know the system better than we do, and they know how to exploit it,” he said.

“They've taken their time getting lawyers – it just seems to drag on forever. I think that has to do with their familiarity with the legal process.”

Gallagher's family took part in the walks after she disappeared over two years ago. Since her remains were found, the focus has turned to honoring her life, most recently at Cumberland House and in Saskatoon earlier this month.

The celebrations marked a life lived too soon, Gallagher says, but lately he has been overcome by another feeling – anger.

“We celebrated Megan's life, but I was frustrated and angry. This is the first time in this process that I have been angry,” he said.

“Part of the anger comes from the knowledge we learn [about the process] … and Summer-Sky Henry is still at large.”