Family of missing Nova Scotia man renew pleas for answers two years later

·2 min read
Tony Walsh’s mother, Susan Robben, and his daughter, Maddie Chiasson, lead a walk through Truro, N.S., to mark the second anniversary of his disappearance.  (Carolyn Ray/CBC - image credit)
Tony Walsh’s mother, Susan Robben, and his daughter, Maddie Chiasson, lead a walk through Truro, N.S., to mark the second anniversary of his disappearance. (Carolyn Ray/CBC - image credit)

It was two years ago that Susan Robben sat waiting for her son to join their family at dinnertime. He never came.

Tony Walsh, 35, vanished in Truro, N.S., sparking an investigation that has left his family with no closure.

"It's very hard. Very frustrating," said Robben. "It brings out anger, frustration, a lot of ugly crying. You just go through the motions. You're not living every moment of every day."

Six months after Walsh disappeared, the RCMP said they believe he was the victim of a homicide, even though his body has not been found. Robben said she hasn't heard any updates or details, but it's still an open investigation.

Nova Scotia RCMP
Nova Scotia RCMP

On Sunday, more than 100 people gathered in Truro to hold a vigil and walk for Walsh. Robben's greatest wish is that renewed attention to her son's disappearance will trigger a memory from someone in the community.

"We're just hoping that someone new will say 'Oh, I saw this.' And at the time it didn't seem very important, but it could be the one piece that's needed to blow this case up, for lack of a better word. We just really need people to come forward," said Robben.

Carolyn Ray/CBC
Carolyn Ray/CBC

The only piece of evidence that she knows of is Walsh's vehicle, which she found in the Salvation Army parking lot four days after he disappeared.

"We don't know the where or the why or whatever. This is what we have," she said.

Carolyn Ray/CBC
Carolyn Ray/CBC

Walsh's daughter, Maddie Chaisson, spoke to reporters before the vigil, standing by her mother's side.

"He was really nice," said Chaisson, now a teenager. "He was good at art."

"Some days are harder than others," her mother, Hayley Chiasson, said.

"Losing someone without any answers is devastating. Every day is a grieving process and you never get to the end because you don't know what happened."

Carolyn Ray/CBC
Carolyn Ray/CBC

The family didn't just want to shine the light on Walsh's disappearance. They took the time to mention other families of missing Nova Scotians, including the parents of Dylan Ehler, a three-year-old who disappeared in May 2020.

Ehler's parents attended the walk.

"One person missing is too many," said Robben. "It just doesn't affect the immediate family of that one person. It is widespread into the community."

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