After years of searching, worrying and wondering, Ashley Hamlyn says the discovery of her late brother's remains was shocking but finally allows her to grieve.
"It was like a big weight has been lifted and I was able to breathe," said Hamlyn on Friday.
"It was like, we were finally going to get that closure and we no longer have to be wondering what happened to him, where he is."
Earlier this week, police announced that human remains found in the woods in Paradise were those of Trevor Hamlyn, known as "Pepsi," who was last seen June 16, 2018, at his home in the town on Newfoundland's Avalon Peninsula. He was 33 when he disappeared.
Hamlyn, who with her family spent years keeping the case in the public eye, says she was shocked by the location of his remains because the area was thoroughly searched. It was also close to where his old cellphone was found.
Police say it's still too early to speculate on how Hamlyn died or how long his remains were at the site. Although there are more details about his death that have yet to be uncovered, Hamlyn said, she isn't thinking about them. For now, the discovery of his remains provides some source of solace.
"I still feel like something happened to him," said Hamlyn, "so we don't have those answers yet. One day we will, but for now that's fine, because at least we know where he's to."
'Pepsi' remembered for his kind and uplifting spirit
Hamlyn says the province's chief medical examiner still has her brother's remains and that the family is waiting for them to be released, which she says likely won't happen until next week.
They plan to have him cremated and to hold a memorial service in Paradise. Afterwards, immediate family will take him to Grand-Falls Windsor so he can be laid to rest next to his father.
"It didn't just affect us, it affected many, many people," said Hamlyn. "I want everybody to remember him for who he was."
Hamlyn says her brother got the nickname "Pepsi" because he always had cans of Pepsi around and was frequently drinking the beverage. Although a lot of his friends called him "Pepsi," Hamlyn says she'll always remember her big brother as Trevor.
"Over time, it kinda got shortened to 'Peps' and that's how most people knew him," she said. "Most people didn't know his name was Trevor."
Hamlyn wants her brother to be remembered for his kind and non-judgmental nature, as well as his ability to lift spirits with his humour and warm smile. One memory Hamlyn says she cherishes is when her brother danced with her at a father-daughter dance, which happened around two years after their father died.
"He treated everybody so well and never treated anyone badly," she said. "He always had a good joke, he always had a good time, and I've been hearing so many stories of how he touched so many people's lives."