On March 24th, 1991, the search began as 4-year-old Michael Dunahee went missing from the Blanshard School playground around 12:30 p.m.
His family was nearby and there were many people in the area for a touch football game at a nearby field.
Dunahee disappeared and extensive searches of the area led to no findings despite the efforts of hundreds of volunteers and several police agencies.
To date, he has now been missing 32-years.
In 2021, to mark the 30th year of him being missing, BC RCMP forensic sketch artist Cpl. Virginia Bernier made a sketch of what Dunahee might look like now.
At the same time as the age-enhanced sketch was released, VicPD created a dedicated portal for tips on what may have happened to the 4-year-old.
The Dunahee family’s tragedy is beyond words and their resilience over the years has been commendable.
They hold the Michael Dunahee ‘Keep the Hope Alive’ Run annually — an event that’s become a fixture of the community throughout Greater Victoria.
Every year, families and individuals from throughout the region gather in Esquimalt to run and walk in order to keep Michael’s name on the forefront of the police’s and the public’s minds.
VicPD Chief Del Manak has frequently joined the Dunahee family on the run and will do so again this year.
“It’s always good to connect with Bruce and Crystal,” said Chief Manak.
All the money they raise yearly goes toward Child Find BC, an organization Michael Dunahee’s parents Crystal and Bruce help run to try and make sure no parent ever has to deal with the pain they’ve been put through.
This year, the Keep the Hope Alive run will take place at 9 a.m. on Sunday, March 26th.
Everyone who registers for the run gets a t-shirt with the latest artwork that is usually done by local schoolchildren as part of an art contest the Dunahees hold.
The run starts and finishes on Fraser Street just behind the Esquimalt Recreation Centre.
“This remains an ongoing missing person investigation,” said VicPD Chief Manak.
“Michael’s family needs to know where he is today. Every tip we receive and the support that we are receiving from our community is one step closer and keeps the hope alive.”
Police say the investigation into Michael Dunahee’s disappearance remains one of the largest missing person investigations in Canada.
Anyone with information about Michael Dunahee’s disappearance is asked to visit the online tips portal or contact VicPD’s dedicated Michael Dunahee tip line at (250) 995-7444.
Micahel Dunahee ‘Keep the Hope Alive’ Run
- Where: 527 Fraser Street
- When: Sunday, March 26th at 9 a.m.
- Registration: $20 for adults, $15 for children 12-years-old and under