A COUPLE who went missing in the U.S. last week is originally from Terrace.
Albert and Rita Chretian grew up here Terrace, according to local Leslie Campbell, who knew Rita by her maiden name Kumpolt.
Campbell and her mother, Betty, were watching the news when a photo of the couple came up on the screen and Leslie said “that looks like Rita Kumpolt” and she also recognized Albert.
“I grew up with them. That’s why I was so shocked,” said Leslie, adding that you expect people to go missing from other places, not here.
Penticton RCMP and US officials are investigating the couple’s disappearance after their family reported their parents missing on March 31.
The children of the Penticton couple grew concerned after their parents did not return from their trip to Las Vegas as planned in and around Monday to Wednesday of last week. The Chretians were traveling in their light metallic brown coloured 2000 Chevy Astro Van with the B.C. licence plate 212 CAV. The van had a black sunvisor atop the windshield and body coloured running boards along the side.
“We have confirmed that they did cross into Washington via Oroville on March 19, 2011 at around 7:05 a.m. that Saturday morning. To date the couples banking activities and cell phone usage have been nil. The Penticton RCMP is liaising with several U.S. police agencies in order to forward the information state side in attempts to locate the couple,” said Cpl Dan Moskaluk.
RCMP investigators obtained store security footage from Baker City, Oregon confirming that the couple stopped and made a gas purchase at a Shell convenience outlet. Both the RCMP and US State and County agencies are now concentrating their investigative efforts in the Baker City and Oregon State area.
Albert Chretian is a 59-year-old, caucasian man about 5’6 and 175 pounds with brown hair, bald on top and blue eyes. His last known clothing descriptors were a black baseball cap with bold white lettering logo, ‘Rital’ and smaller orange lettering, ‘enterprises ltd,’ khaki button up dress shirt, black jeans and black shoes.
Rita Chretian is described as a 56-year-old female caucasian, 5′, 125 pounds, shoulder length blond hair, blue eyes and wears glasses. She was last seen wearing a brown jacket with light coloured collar, white blouse/shirt, beige mesh purse, dark leather lace up shoes, her hair was in a ponytail and she was wearing sunglasses.
Family members are very concerned and note that their parents failing to show for the planned attendance at a trade show and convention is out of the ordinary, adding that the Chretiens are local business owner operators which has had a direct effect and concern to many others as the pairs has a small staff employed.
Anyone with information regarding this missing persons investigation are asked to contact: Penticton RCMP at 250-492-4300, Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477, Okanogan County Sheriff 509-422-7232, Washington State Patrol 509-682-8090.