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'It's just a matter of time': Mother of Victoria boy who disappeared 32 years ago believes he's still alive

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The mother of a Victoria child who disappeared without a trace 32 years ago Friday says she believes her son is still alive.

Michael Dunahee disappeared around 12:30 p.m. on March 24, 1991. The four-year-old boy was last seen on the playground at Blanshard School, while his family and many others were watching a touch football game in the park.

His disappearance prompted a massive and immediate search involving hundreds of volunteers and police from multiple agencies, but the boy was never found.

Crystal Dunahee said Friday she believes her son is alive and "it's just a matter of time" before the world finds out what happened to him.

"One day we're going to have the answer we're all waiting for" she told Victoria radio station CFAX 1070 on Friday, the 32nd anniversary of her son's disappearance.

"I do have a DNA account set up… if Michael decides to check out his family history," she added.

The annual Michael Dunahee Keep the Hope Alive five-kilometre walk and run will take place Sunday.

Participants are asked to register ahead of the event and pick up their T-shirts on Saturday between 10 a.m. and noon at the Esquimalt Recreation Centre at 527 Fraser Street.

Crystal says the community support since her son's disappearance has been "overwhelming."

"I read every one of the messages and I feel the love from the community," she said. "I have a hard time finding words to explain how it makes us feel."

Victoria police say they have received hundreds of tips since launching an online portal for information on Dunahee's disappearance in 2021.

"We remain committed to solving Michael’s disappearance," Victoria Police Chief Del Manak said in a statement marking the anniversary in 2022.

"Our investigators truly appreciate all of the information and support we are receiving from our community."

The case remains one of the largest missing person investigations in Canadian history.

In 2021, Victoria police marked the 30-year anniversary of Dunahee's disappearance by launching a tip line and publishing an age-enhanced sketch showing what Dunahee might look like as a 34-year-old man.

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