‘Keeping the hope alive’: 32nd Dunahee walk raises awareness over disappearance

'Keeping the hope alive': 32nd Dunahee walk raises awareness over disappearance

It’s been 32 years since Michael Dunahee disappeared without a trace from a Victoria playground and today hundreds gathered to carry on the search for answers.

“It’s just a matter of keeping the message out there and keeping the hope alive,” says Michael’s mother Crystal Dunahee.

Dunahee was just four-years-old when he disappeared. In the years since there have been thousands of tips, but no concrete clues as to what happened to the young boy. Still, police are actively investigating.

“At the 30-year anniversary [in 2021] the Victoria Police Department worked with the RCMP, and we created an age-enhanced sketch with a forensic artist of what Michael would look like today,” says Victoria Police Chief Del Manak.

“We opened up and launched a tip portal dedicated to the Michael Dunahee missing person investigation and we’ve received hundreds of tips.”

In the years since his disappearance, Crystal Dunahee has been an advocate for missing children’s issues, becoming the president of Child Find B.C. and helping to bring together resources for families of missing children.

“When Michael first disappeared there was nothing to support families. There was, but it was so spread out and unorganized,” says Dunahee.

“With Michael’s disappearance, it kind of brought everybody, all the different organizations, together to work together as a whole.”

The annual Michael Dunahee Keep the Hope Alive Run and Walk is designed to provide exposure to the case while raising funds for Child Find B.C. It also helps bring together the community that has supported the Dunahee family for over 30 years.

“It means a lot to us, the family and to our extended families who we’ve discovered over the years,” says Dunahee.

“People realizing the connection they have with us, so it’s just really heartwarming.”

Those with information on the case are asked to visit the Michael Dunahee tips page on the Victoria Police Department website.

Cole SorensonCole Sorenson

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