Community honours one year anniversary of Shtuka’s disappearance

Ryan’s family led community members through a candlelit walk of the village on Feb.17. SPIN Photo.

Friends and family of missing person Ryan Shtuka, along with community members of Sun Peaks, marked the one year anniversary of his disappearance from Feb. 15 to 17 with several events in Kamloops and Sun Peaks.

The then 20-year-old was last seen at house party on Feb. 17, 2018 on Burfield Dr. after a night out in the village with friends.

“Kamloops Search and Rescue, police dog service, RCMP helicopter, RCMP tactical team and RCMP dive team were utilized in the days and months to follow,” said Cpl Jodi Shelkie at a press conference in Kamloops on Feb. 15. where RCMP and Ryan’s parents, Heather and Scott Shtuka, made a plea for any information related to the case.

Shelkie said they will continue to investigate the file until it has been determined what happened to Ryan and stated they investigate every tip they receive.

“We are actively investigating this and welcome any information anyone may have,” she said.

Heather reflected on the last year and her memories of her son.

“For Scott and I, we’re not sure if and when this journey will stop for us, “ she said.

“I remember the promising young man who came out to Sun Peaks to live out this dream he had. As we come to this one year, all I need everyone to know is how much we miss our son and and how much he matters and how much we love him and we just want to know what happened to him.”

Scott thanked everyone who assisted with their search efforts.

“I’d like to say thank you to everyone who has come up and helped us with searching,” he said. “There’s countless friends, volunteers and family…we want everyone to know that we’re not stopping because as Heather said, Ryan means a lot to us and our family. Everyone is grieving.

“We miss Ryan a lot and we want to bring him home.”

Supt. Lecky of the Tk’emlups RCMP appealed to the public to aid police in their investigation.

“We need that help and support from the public. Somebody knows something. Somebody knows something,” he said. “We need people to come forward with whatever tips, information. There’s variety of ways that (they) can come forward but we do need you to step up to help contribute to this investigation and to bring some comfort to the families and to Ryan.”

In Sun Peaks, the community focused on honouring Ryan’s memory and supporting the family.

The community gathered at the Tube Park Feb. 16 to remember Ryan. SPIN Photo.

Over 100 community members joined together Feb. 16 for a Run for Ryan followed by a hot chocolate reception at the Tube Park where Ryan was working.

The following night friends, family and community members gathered at the top of the village to follow Heather and Scott along a candlelit walk before settling at the Clock Tower to remember Ryan and the impact he had on the community.

“Our son would have been surprised yet honoured, by how many people have been impacted by his life, so many of us find ourselves different, better because of this tragedy how such a quiet and almost at times introspective young man could create such a noise,” said Heather.

“Ryan wherever you are on the night almost a year (later) I want you to know how so very much you were loved and how much you mattered and how you’ll never ever be forgotten,” Heather said during the vigil.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the RCMP at 250-828-3000 or Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477.