Five years after Dylan Koshman vanished following a late-night scuffle with his roommate, his family is still searching for answers.

Koshman was 21-years-old when he stormed out of his Edmonton home after a fight with his roommate on Oct. 10, 2008. He has not been seen since.

“It was shock, it was panic,” said Koshman's mother Melanie Alix.

After Koshman vanished, family members came to Edmonton from across Alberta and Saskatchewan to search for him.

“I was so scared," Alix said. "The next day we took off and went up to Edmonton and decided that we had to do something. And that's when all of our posters began and searching began. We stayed there for three weeks.”

'It can be a struggle. You can be in the middle of the grocery store. And you can feel like you have to go home. It's anxiety.” - Dylan Koshman's mother, Melanie Alix

The family handed out leaflets, made posters and posted billboards asking for information about Koshman.

Five years later, they have received plenty of tips, but no answers. 

Now five years later, Alix said it is exhausting to continue with no idea what happened to her son.

“We don't have that final closure. And that's really hard,” she said.

“Not having closure means not being able to grieve properly if he is gone from this world and not knowing if he's suffering ... and it can be a struggle. You can be in the middle of the grocery store. And you can feel like you have to go home. It's anxiety. And that happens.”

More than anything, Alix says she hopes her family will one day find out what happened.

“I'd like this to end for all of us. I mean, there's somebody out there that might have the gift or the power to give us that closure. And I hope they come forward to do that for us,” she said.

Police investigation ongoing

Investigators have binders full of information on the case and say they have explored every possible lead.

Const. Sean Jenkinson has been working on the case for four years.

“To this day, it's gone,” he said, snapping his fingers. “I can put you down to a three or four minute window. And I don't know what happened in that window. And he's never been heard from since.”

Jenkinson said it's frustrating when long-term investigations slow.

“It's that slowdown period when the family's calling to see what's going on and there's no new information coming in and you're trying to think of things you may have missed, so you go back and review," he said.

"That's the process we've been doing for four years. It's quite a mystery as to what happened.”

Jenkinson said police still receive tips that they follow up on. But, he said, finding missing people is a challenge.

“That's the unique thing about a missing persons investigation. It's a non-criminal event because, at the end of the day, it's not illegal to be missing.

“If someone is reported missing in one jurisdiction and then moves, through the course of the investigation, out of it say they die  we may never put the two together.

“We've had files where the missing subject goes into the river in Edmonton and is recovered as far away as Langham, Saskatchewan so that's quite a lot of geographic area to recover  and unfortunately the window of opportunity to recover someone out of the river is fairly small.”

Each year, EPS investigates about 1,600 missing persons cases. Of those, 98 per cent or better are solved, said Jenkinson.

Koshman's family will be back in Edmonton later this week to hold a vigil for their lost son.