Dunahee family keeps hope alive for son Michael, who disappeared 30 years ago

·2 min read

VICTORIA — Bruce and Crystal Dunahee say they can't and will never give up hope of finding their son Michael, who disappeared 30 years ago from a playground in Victoria.

Michael Dunahee was four-years-old when he went missing in the playground area near the Blanshard Elementary School on March 24, 1991, steps from where his family and others were playing a flag football game.

"We continue to keep the hope alive," Crystal told a news conference Wednesday after the release of a new age-enhanced photo of what their son might look like as a 34-year-old.

"We haven't had anything to tell us otherwise. We're constantly keeping that hope alive to find Michael."

The sketch was prepared by an RCMP forensic artist. Victoria police also announced the creation of a new website portal for tips on the case.

Bruce Dunahee said the new photo may spur somebody with information about Michael's disappearance to contact police or result in Michael or somebody with knowledge about his whereabouts to come forward.

"We're hopeful that this new drawing will help bring him home to us," he said. "We've got to keep looking. We've got to find our son."

A search for Michael involved hundreds of volunteers and numerous police agencies, but no trace of the boy was found.

Chief Const. Del Manak of Victoria police said the goal of the new sketch and the website is to generate more tips.

Police have investigated 10,000 tips about the disappearance over the past 30 years, he said, but are still looking for the information that will help them solve the case.

"We know there is someone who is holding the truth," he said. "We know the nugget of truth is out there. Thirty years is too long."

The chief said officers have investigated "multiple persons of interest" over the years, but there has never been enough evidence to find out what happened.

Bruce Dunahee thanked the police for their efforts and said the family is grateful for the ongoing support of Canadians who have given the Dunahees strength throughout the years.

"This is one battle we don't want to lose," he said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 24, 2021.

Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press