British Columbia

Surrey man's DNA tested in notorious missing-child case

Police have confirmed they are testing DNA samples from a man in Surrey, B.C., to rule out that he is Michael Dunahee, a Victoria boy who went missing more than 20 years ago.

Police test B.C. man to see if he's Michael Dunahee, Canada's best-known missing child

Michael Dunahee was four years old when he disappeared from a Victoria playground in 1991 (

Police have confirmed they have collected and are testing DNA samples from a man in Surrey, B.C., to rule out that he is Michael Dunahee, a Victoria boy who went missing more than 20 years ago.

In early July, Victoria police contacted the man, who wrote about their discussion on a local Vancouver Canucks hockey forum.

"I was contacted by Victoria police because there has been tips that I have a remarkable resemblance to micheal dunahee, I'm freaked out right now and there coming to get a DNA sample!!!" the man posted on July 10 in a new forum topic he called "Michael Dunahee."

"I'm pretty sure I'm not, but what if I am?!?" he wrote.

The man went on to say that he is 26, around the same age that Dunahee would be today, and explained that he remembers moving around a lot when he was young. He also said his father left the family when he was around 10, and his mother passed away earlier this year.

He said on the website that he had scheduled to meet with Victoria police the following Wednesday, for DNA sample collection.

Police say the man is likely not Michael Dunahee, but the force has made a commitment to the family to pursue all the leads it can.

Police have been searching for Dunahee since March 24, 1991, when the then four-year-old boy disappeared from a playground at Blanshard Elementary School in Victoria while his parents and other adults were close by.

The disappearance — labelled an abduction the following day — sparked one of the largest child abduction investigations in Canadian history, involving nearly 100 police officers from the region and across B.C.'s Lower Mainland.

Last year, the family of the missing boy issued an age-enhanced composite picture, estimating what Dunahee would look like as a 26-year-old man. The Surrey man also uploaded a recent picture of himself to the forum to allow the users to compare it against the composite, and against older images of the missing boy. The forum topic thread has since been removed from the site out of concerns for the man's privacy.

With files from the CBC's Louise Martin