British Columbia

'I will always hold hope': Mother's search continues 2 years after son vanishes in B.C.

Two years after her son disappeared without a trace following a house party at the Sun Peaks Resort in B.C., an Alberta mother returns every month to continue the search, still hoping for a miracle.

Ryan Shtuka left a house party at Sun Peaks in February 2018 and hasn't been seen since

Ryan Shtuka's mother, Heather Shtuka, drives 10 hours from her home in Beaumont, Alta., every month to continue the search for her son. (Kamloops RCMP)

Two years after her son disappeared without a trace following a house party at the Sun Peaks Resort in B.C., an Alberta mother returns every month to continue the search, still hoping for a miracle.

Ryan Shtuka, 20, vanished from the ski town on Feb. 17, 2018.

RCMP officers and hundreds of volunteers searched extensively through the village and its surrounding trails, forests and mountains, but few clues have ever emerged as to what happened to him.

His mother, Heather Shtuka, still drives 10 hours from her house in Beaumont, Alta., every month to continue that search. It's hard to stay hopeful, but harder to do nothing, she said. 

"As his mother, I will always hold hope for a miracle, but we are also rooted in what the stark reality is," she said. "For us, going up and searching is the one thing that we can do for our son until he's found."

'It doesn't seem like there's an end in sight'

Friends and first responders initially worried Shtuka had fallen into a gully covered in snow. RCMP have said they have no reason to believe foul play played a factor in his disappearance.

Two years on, Shtuka said RCMP continue to receive a "trickle" of tips but nothing substantial enough to steer the investigation in a new direction.

"Nothing really leads us anywhere closer or further away to finding Ryan," she said.

Shtuka said she hopes new technology in finding missing people and the changing seasons will eventually bring her family some answers.

Until then, she said, she will continue to make the monthly drive south. 

"I think the grief hits me harder now at the two-year mark because I don't know how long we're supposed to do this, how long we can do this, how long we're going to do this," she said.

"It doesn't seem like there's an end in sight."

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