'It's a complete nightmare': Wife of man missing near Duncan hopeful he'll be found
CTV Vancouver Island
Published Tuesday, May 22, 2018 7:01PM PDT
Last Updated Wednesday, May 23, 2018 10:01AM PDT
Nearly a week after a husband and father went missing in a rural area near Duncan, his heartbroken wife says she's adamant he'll be found alive.
Ben Kilmer, 41, was reported missing last Wednesday after his van, still running, was found parked on the side of Cowichan Lake Road.
His wife Tonya says she vividly remembers their last moment.
"A really nice kiss goodbye," she said. "I said to him before he left, because he almost ran out the door without kissing me, I said 'Hun, always kiss.' I'm so glad I said that to him."
Surveillance footage caught the morning Kilmer left shows him at a job, and his electrician work vehicle was discovered later that day on Cowichan Lake Road.
Blood was discovered inside the work van, and a search team later found blood on a nearby trail.
"It's a complete nightmare, an absolute nightmare," said Tonya.
Kilmer's unexplained disappearance triggered a massive search on the Cowichan area, which had grown to 40 search and rescue members and more than 100 civilian volunteers as of Monday.
But on Tuesday, the search was suspended after nearly a week of efforts yielded no leads.
"We haven't had anything at all," said Tina Phillips of Cowichan Search and Rescue. "Any signs or clues that we've had, we've followed up on those and they haven't led to anything."
Police are calling it a missing persons investigation and have stopped short of deeming the disappearance criminal in nature.
"He's a family man, he's got young kids, and this is touching a lot of people in the community," said Cpl. Cari Lougheed of North Cowichan RCMP. "That's why we've had so many people come out and volunteer, and that's been amazing. We just need everybody to keep their eyes out and let us know if they see anything."
While search and rescue isn't ruling out more searches, Kilmer's wife called the sudden disappearance totally out of character.
"This man is an incredible man, he's the most amazing dad, and we are going to show our kids this world together," said a tearful Tonya Kilmer, Ben's wife. "I know he's alive, I know he's going to be found. I honestly feel like today's the day."
Cowichan SAR is imploring people who have been away for the long weekend to have a close look at their property to see if anything is out of the ordinary, or if Kilmer is there.