Wife fears foul play in mysterious case of men who vanished in Ucluelet
CTV Vancouver Island
Published Monday, June 4, 2018 5:09PM PDT
Last Updated Monday, June 4, 2018 6:36PM PDT
The wife of a man who went missing with his friend on Vancouver Island nearly three weeks ago says she believes her husband may be dead – or is being held against his will.
Dan Archbald, 37, and Ryan Daley, 43, were last seen on surveillance video at a Ucluelet marina on May 16.
The pair had just completed an eight-week sailing trip from Panama and were said to be heading to Daley's residence in Jordan River.
They haven't been seen or heard from since, something Archbald's wife Leah Bliss says is highly out of character considering he has daughters waiting for him at home.
"My feelings at this time are that there's definitely foul play involved and that they are no longer with us, because if Dan could, he would be in our lives somehow. He loves his daughters and he would be here if he could be," Bliss told CTV News Monday. "I can't believe that there would be any way he wouldn't have made contact with someone if he hadn't been killed, or was being held somewhere against his will."
She said family has heard of no new leads save the discovery of articles of clothing and a pill bottle that could belong to Dan.
"We've searched the area where those things were found extensively," she said. "Police searched with dogs and our team of helpers searched it extensively and we found absolutely nothing."
Investigators are still trying to trace Archbald and Daley's last movements, Bliss said.
She said the hardest part of her husband's disappearance has been explaining to her young daughter why her father hasn't come home.
"I tried to be as honest with them as possible and explain it as best I could, and my daughter Olive had said to me that she hoped daddy was still just sailing and that one day he would sail home to us," said Bliss, tearfully.
Daley's sister Lauren Glynn wouldn't speculate on the pair's fate, but said hope for a positive outcome seems to be fading.
"There are ups and downs, mainly downs," she said. "We're at a point where we've exhausted pretty much what we can do."
In what appears to be an unrelated event, Archbald and Daley disappeared the same day that 41-year-old husband and father Ben Kilmer went missing hours away, near Lake Cowichan.
A high-profile search was also launched for Kilmer after his van was found still running on Lake Cowichan Road May 16, with blood found inside.
Extensive searches for all three men have turned up nothing, and police so far say there's no connection between the two cases.
Kilmer's family and friends say they're trying to remain positive, mounting an ever-growing social media campaign, despite dwindling ground searches.
"The physical search has died down immensely. We want to thank the people who continue to come out, but at this time, probably the resource that is most needed in the ongoing search is for people to come out in person," said family spokesperson Shannon Wiest. "We're looking for people to go and search the Trans-Canada Trail in the direction of North Cowichan, so that could be people who're on bikes, people who are walking, hikers, ATVs, dirtbikes."
Police are so far only investigating the separate cases as missing persons files.