Family members have not given up on the search for Ben Kilmer, a Vancouver Island man missing for nearly two months.
His wife Tonya gave an impassioned plea to the public on Friday afternoon in Victoria at the headquarters of the RCMP’s Island District.
“We are devastated. We are broken without this man. He is everything, the core of our family,” she said as tears flowed and her voice cracked.
“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.”
The 41-year-old Kilmer was last seen May 16 in the Cowichan Valley, outside Duncan.
His work van was found alongside Lake Cowichan Road with its driver-side door open and the engine running.
Dozens of search parties, including members of the Cowichan, Ladysmith, Juan de Fuca, Nanaimo, Salt Spring island and Saanich Peninsula SAR groups combed the area for a week but Kilmer was never found. Friends and family continued their efforts for weeks after the official search was scaled back.
Now seven weeks later, no new information has been released and no new search parties have been organized, but family spokesperson has said they intent to “saturate Vancouver Island with posters with Ben’s face… It continues to be a very difficult time for the family.”
The timing of Kilmer’s disappearance had coincided with the same day that two men in Ucluelet were last seen alive, 37-year-old Dan Archbald and 43-year-old Ryan Daley. Their bodies were found late last month and authorities now say that case is being investigated as a double homicide.
However RCMP spokesperson Tammy Douglas said Friday there is nothing to indicate the two files are related in any way.
Officials continue to ask for help from the public in both cases, including those living in the 4000-block of Cowichan Lake Road to extensively check their rural properties, including out buildings and surrounding area. And if anyone was in the area at the time and may have dashcam footage they can share with police.