Thursday marks 25 years since Michael Dunahee vanished without a trace from outside Blanshard Elementary school
25 years ago Caitlin Dunahee was a newborn, being doted on by her big brother Michael, who went missing when she was just six months old.
Today, she is a grown woman, still struggling with the loss.
“I’ve heard stories of how he was with me and liked to play with me and always help, but after that it was just nothing,” said Caitlin.
Caitlin was joined by her grandmother, mother and father at Catholic mass Wednesday at Queen of the Peace Parish in Esquimalt where a prayer was held for Michael.
It was March 24, 1991 when the Dunahee family arrived at Blanshard Elementary school in Victoria for a game of football.
It’s a day that is still painfully fresh in Michael’s parents minds.
“He wanted to go to the playground by himself and we said it was okay because I had to push the stroller in the other direction with Caitlin in it and when I turned around not even a couple minutes later he was gone,” said Michael’s father Bruce.
What followed was a massive search and rescue operation and the launch of one of the largest police investigations in Canadian history.
But 25 years later that investigation is still active, with few promising leads.
“The tips we do receive we do look into, around this time of year with the media coverage we tend to get more, hopefully we can spur someone’s memory and recollection to what happened,” said Victoria Police spokesperson Constable Matt Rutherford.
The family believes there is someone out there who knows what happened and they say now is the time to come forward.
“It’s been 25 years, enough is enough, let’s have some closure, help us find our son,” said Bruce.
“They really robbed a family of a happy complete life, we miss him there’s a piece of our family that’s not there, it’s forever changed and they have to live with that guilt,” said Caitlin.
Michael would now be approaching his 30th birthday and an updated composite sketch shows what he might look like today.
“There’s been a huge chunk of his life, and memories, taken away from us, that we’ll never get back,” said his mother Crystal Dunahee.
But the Dunahee family still holds out hope that Michael is out there living a full life somewhere, and will one day be reunited with the parents, and the little sister, that love him.
“That’s our hope that one day he’ll come knocking on the door,” said Crystal.
If anyone has information about Michael Dunahee’s disappearance, they can contact VicPD’s dedicated Tip Line at 250-995-7444 or, to remain anonymous, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).