New tools help Michael Dunahee's parents maintain hope after 28 years
CTV Vancouver Island
Published Monday, March 25, 2019 8:58AM PDT
Decades of waiting and not knowing have taken their toll on the Dunahees, but they are not giving up hope.
"Twenty-eight years today my son disappeared, it was the hardest day of my life,” said Bruce Dunahee, as he welcomed hundreds of people to their annual walk/run to raise money for Child Find BC.
For many across Canada the name Michael Dunahee immediately conjures up the image of the four year old who disappeared without a trace from the playground at Blanshard Elementary School.
They can only imagine what it has been like for his mother, Crystal Dunahee, who has had to find a way to move forward, not knowing where her son is.
"It's more or less in the back of our mind all the time, it's not as open. We still have things of Michael's around the house, we continue to live each day, and one day," she said.
"One day," is repeated in the conversation, almost as punctuation.
They have been living with not knowing since March 24, 1991.
Hearing about new advancements in investigative technology helps them keep up hope.
"Some days are more difficult than other days depending on what's going on, and what's going on in the news, and you hear all the different stories, and results from DNA testing and things like that, because things are changing and hopefully, you never know, one day," said Crystal.
The case continues to be an open and active investigation for police.
"This has deeply impacted the members of the Victoria Police Department, not just for those that have been investigating this, but also our police community in general over the 28 year period. Even officers that have come and gone and retired since Michael's disappearance, every officer I can assure you, knows about Michael," said Chief Del Manak.
Over the years more than 300 officers have been involved in the case.
Both investigators and the Dunahees believe someone out there, knows something which would help with the investigation.
"We have one common goal, and that is to find Michael Dunahee in whatever way that is, and we know there are people who would have first-hand knowledge that could assist us in locating Michael. We're asking people to step forward," said Manak.
The annual walk/run helps keep awareness up, and the large turnout gives the family a strong sense of support from the community.
“It makes it a little easier for us to continue on," said Michael’s dad.
Crystal echoed that.
"For our family, it just shows us that they won't give up as long as we continue keeping the hope alive. We're not giving up and they're not giving up."