It’s been five years since 14-year-old David Fortin went missing from Alma, Que., and the Missing Children's Network is marking the anniversary with the launch of an anti-bullying campaign.
Fortin was last seen on Feb. 10, 2009, leaving his home in the Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean region. On the morning he disappeared, Fortin left home for the school bus, but never got on board.
“I’ve thought of asking the [bus driver] to stop passing by, because it hurts so much,” said Fortin’s mother, Caroline Lachance.
She says every time she hears the school bus drive by, she’s reminded of that day.
Fortin's parents believe he was a victim of bullying at his school, because of a speech impediment.
The night before he disappeared, his parents said he complained that someone was threatening to hurt him at school.
They said it's possible he ran away to escape the torment.
“Our goal is to prevent another disappearance like David’s,” said Pina Arcamone, general director of Missing Children’s Network in Quebec.
Sun Youth is also renewing a reward of up to $10,000 to anyone who provides information that helps investigators track down Fortin.
Lachance said she is still hopeful that her son will be found.
“We haven’t found his body, so David is still alive to us,” she said.
Prepared for the worst
Over the years, police have followed up on more than 1,000 tips on the missing teen. There have been reports of sightings in Montreal, and as far away as British Columbia.
Lachance is hopeful her son will be found alive, but she is prepared for the worst.
She has wrapped his clothing in protective covers and stored his drinking cup away, in case investigators ever need a sample of his DNA.
Information about David Fortin
Anyone with information about Fortin's whereabouts is asked to contact Quebec provincial police at 1-800-659-4264 or this Missing Children's Network at 1-888-692-4673.
When Fortin was last seen, he was 5 feet 8 inches (1.73 metres) tall and weighted 165 pounds (75 kilograms). He has brown hair, brown eyes and speaks French.