British Columbia

Victoria police release age-enhanced sketch of Michael Dunahee, 30 years after he disappeared

Michael Dunahee disappeared from the area of the Blanshard School playground in Victoria, just a short distance away from his family, on March 24, 1991. 

Case of the 4-year-old who vanished in 1991 is one of the largest missing-child investigations in Canada

Four-year-old Michael Dunahee disappeared from the Blanshard Elementary School playground in Victoria on March 24, 1991. An age-enhanced sketch released Wednesday, at right, shows Dunahee as he might appear at 34 years old. (Michael McArthur/CBC/Victoria Police)

The Victoria Police Department has released an age-enhanced forensic sketch of Michael Dunahee 30 years to the day since the four-year-old went missing, in the hopes of finally solving the case of his disappearance.

The sketch shows Dunahee as he might appear at the age of 34.

"It's our hope that this sketch will continue to inspire the search for Michael," said Victoria police Const. Cam MacIntyre.

"Someone out there knows what happened to Michael 30 years ago today and we need to hear from that person."

Dunahee disappeared from the area of the Blanshard Elementary School playground, just a short distance away from his family, on March 24, 1991. Police at the time said the area was filled with families and spectators gathered for a game of touch football.

Hundreds of volunteers and police officers from several agencies launched an extensive search, but Dunahee has never been found.

MacIntyre says police have received more than 10,000 tips in the years since. The case remains one of the largest missing child investigations in Canada.

Victoria police say they've received more than 10,000 tips in the 30 years since Michael Dunahee's disappearance. (Michael McArthur/CBC)

Crystal Dunahee says it's been heartbreaking to see the photo of what her son could possibly look like today, but she says her family needs answers.

"We've gone 30 years without knowing where Michael is, so if someone recognizes the new sketch of Michael, or knows anything, any little piece of information that can help us find closure, bring Michael back to us," she said in a video released by police.

"That's all we're asking."

The sketch was created by forensic artist Cpl. Virginia Bernier, who worked closely with the Dunahee family including Michael's parents Crystal and Bruce Dunahee.

"[The sketch] brings together family history, forensic science and artistic skill," said MacIntyre.

Victoria police have launched a new online tips portal to assist investigators in the search for Dunahee.

Anyone who has information about his disappearance can also call the Victoria Police Department's dedicated tip line at 250-995-7444.

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