The wife of Ben Kilmer, who went missing more than a month ago, has made an emotional plea to the public to help find her husband.
Ben, a 41-year-old man from Cobble Hill, has been missing since May 16. His electrician work van was found parked along Cowichan Lake Road, west of Menzies Road, in the morning on that date. The vehicle was empty but the engine was running. Blood was discovered inside the work van and a search team later found blood on a nearby trail. RCMP investigators, police dog services, Cowichan Search and Rescue and an RCMP helicopter took part in the initial search.
Multiple search and rescue teams, including Cowichan, Juan de Fuca, Ladysmith, Nanaimo, Salt Spring Island and Saanich Peninsula SAR groups, also looked for Ben for a week.
On Friday, Tonya spoke through tears as she asked for the public’s help in locating her missing husband during a news conference.
“We are devastated. We are broken without this man,” Tonya said.
“He is our everything, the core of our family. His love for us is unwavering. His devotion is unquestionable. His loss has shaken us to the core and I need our love to shake you also so that no one remains silent, so that no amount of fear to come forward exists.”
Wife of Ben Kilmer makes plea for help
Tonya Kilmer, wife of missing man Ben Kilmer, speaks at RCMP Island District. Tonya is asking for the public's help in locating her missing husband.
Posted by CHEK News: Official Page on Friday, July 6, 2018
Tonya said members of the public can help by posting Ben’s picture or placing decals on their vehicle. She is also urging people to follow the Find Ben Kilmer Facebook page where the family posts updates on the search.
There is no greater truth than these words. A card, written from the depth of my heart for Ben two years ago on his…
Posted by Find Ben Kilmer on Friday, July 6, 2018
“There are others that are formed by people who do not know Ben, who do not know our family, who choose to allow speculation rather than evidence and truth to dictate their armchair investigation. Please do not follow these pages,” Tonya said.
She described her husband as a family man who lives life to the fullest and loves deeply and unconditionally. Tonya and Ben have two young children, aged five and two.
“Every weekend for him, for us, was about getting outdoors into God’s country, backpacking, camping. We said to each other over and over, we are going to show our kids this world together,” Tonya said while fighting back tears.
“And this just doesn’t make sense. This is a man who lives his whole life for us, his family. This man would come home and tickle our children until they couldn’t laugh anymore. He would do everything to show his love and appreciation for me.”
With shaking hands, Tonya showed members of the media family pictures during the news conference.
“This is our life together and I honestly don’t know how to live without him,” Tonya said.
Cpl. Tammy Douglas, spokeswoman for Island District RCMP, said police are continuing their investigation into the disappearance but there are no further updates at this time.
“We’re just reaching out to the public today to ask particularly those who live in the 4000 block of Cowichan Lake Road to really check their rural properties extensively. Check your outbuildings and the surrounding areas for any signs that Ben may have been there,” Douglas said.
“We’re also asking if anybody was in the area of Cowichan Lake Road on May 16 who may have dashcam footage or anything like that to please come forward.”
Douglas also said there is nothing to indicate Kilmer’s disappearance is connected to the Ucluelet double homcide investigation. Kilmer went missing on the same day that 37-year-old Dan Archbald and 43-year-old Ryan Daley were last seen alive. The bodies of Archbald and Daley were found late last month and police are investigating their deaths as homicides.
Ben’s disappearance also triggered an extensive search involving concerned family, friends and community members after the official search was scaled back. Posters, flyers, billboards and banners have been placed across the province.
Ben is described by police as 5’10” (179 centimetres), 180 pounds (82 kilograms) with short brown hair and blue eyes. Ben is clean shaven and was last seen wearing light-coloured grey pants, a black shirt and steel-toed work boots. Anyone sees Ben or has any information on his whereabouts is asked to call North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP at 250-748-5522 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
“We need evidence, concrete evidence. We need the truth. We need these people who hold the truth to come forward,” Tonya said.
“We will not go away, we will not give up on this man.”