Tim Bosma remembered: father, husband, son and friend

A week after Tim Bosma disappeared, it's still not clear what happened to the 32-year-old father of one. But who he was as a person is starting to take shape.

'As great a guy as everyone says he was, if not a hundred times more,' neighbour says

Tim Bosma and his wife Sharlene were married at the Ancaster Christian Reformed Church in February 2010. Bosma was found dead after he disappeared May 6 while showing his truck to two potential buyers. (Nathan Denette/Canadian Press)

A few days after Tim Bosma disappeared while giving a test drive of his truck, his wife came forward to speak to the media.

"Tim is blond and blue-eyed. When he gives a big smile, which he does frequently, he has dimples in his cheeks," she said, choking back sobs while surrounded by her family.

Tim and Sharlene's engagement photos, taken a few months before their wedding, bring her description to life. It's clear he was generous with his dimpled grins when it came to his wife and family.

The photo shoot took place on a cool grey day in the cornfield that would be the future site of their family home, the last place Bosma would be seen alive. On Tuesday, police announced they had found Tim Bosma dead. His disappearance is now a murder investigation.

More than a week after his disappearance, the picture of what happened to Bosma remains foggy, but the portrait of who Bosma was is beginning to take shape, despite the family's desire for privacy. A handful of photos and small comments, mentioned in passing from family members pleading for his safe return, cast light on a father, husband, brother and son.

Family was central to Bosma's life. Every day for the past week, the driveway of his country home was lined with the cars of family and friends who refused to be apart as they dealt with his disappearance. 

His daughter — a chubby-cheeked two-year-old with a wisp of her father's dusty blond hair and a matching chin dimple — was the light of his life.

"We're praying that we will find you. Your daughter is waiting to see you," his brother-in-law Chris Noordam said five days after his disappearance, addressing Bosma in case he could hear their words.

"Tim, we want to see you walk your daughter down the aisle."

Staying grounded

Everyone who knew Bosma, from his closest family members to friends he hasn't seen in years, have the same description: A kind-hearted friend who was generous with laughs and love.

"He was as great a guy as everyone says he was, if not a hundred times more," said Edward De Groot, a neighbour of Bosma's extended family for 20 years.

Hamilton police homicide Det. Sgt. Matt Kavanagh, in a more formal way, echoed the same assurance that Bosma is exactly who his family says he was.

"The picture that is being painted of Mr. Bosma is what we have found in our investigation," he said.

He enjoyed playing with his nieces and nephews, starting water fights and telling jokes. He'd go fishing with his father-in-law and tussle with Ava, the couple's big brown Great Dane.

A hometown boy, Bosma's close connection to family and his church meant he didn't go far when he decided to start his own construction business. He attended Ancaster High School and his family have been members at Ancaster Christian Reformed Church for many years. He and his wife built their home just a 10-minute drive from their church.

After Bosma's disappearance, his family drew strength from the faith they shared.

"Our faith in God has been keeping us strong and has been getting us through the last few days," his wife said in her statement to the press.

"We ask the community for continued support and prayers."

Still active members of the small, tight-knit congregation, Bosma's whole family attended a prayer vigil in his honour last Friday. He and his wife were married in the church. They had their daughter baptized there. And it was the pastor at that church who comforted Bosma's family Tuesday morning when they heard the news of his death.

Police are still investigating Bosma's death. They've made one arrest but still don't know how he died, or if others may be responsible. At least two more suspects are still at large, and forensic investigation teams have as much as two weeks worth of excavating to do at a site in Waterloo.

But the biggest question the family is facing now, the one they may never have an answer to, is why their beloved husband, adored father, cherished son and admired friend was stolen from them.