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Private investigator reigniting search for man near Kamloops

Image Credit: Contributed/Merritt Herald
July 07, 2016 - 9:00 PM


KAMLOOPS - Dean Kelly Morrison's mother, Elizabeth Faber, has never given up hope of finding out what happened to her son nearly three years ago on a ranch near Kamloops. 

Morrison, a 44-year-old father of three, went missing Oct. 22, 2013 from Stump Lake Ranch east of Kamloops where he had been working and living. He had been laid off in the morning from his job as a painter at the ranch, and was planning on moving his trailer that day. Sometime between 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. he disappeared without a trace.

“i just want to know one way or another what happened to my son,” Faber says. “If he did die that day, I want to know. If he’s alive, I want to know.”

Since he went missing, Faber has put up billboards and posters, conducted her own searches and spread the word online. Her determination has brought in private investigator Denis Gagnon, who’s offered his help for free.

“She has gone way beyond what you normally see,” Gagnon says.

Together they’re hoping a new search of Morrison’s last known location will turn up clues, and they’re looking for volunteers to help. A search is planned on the 65,000-acre Stump Lake Ranch on Saturday, July 16, with specific locations already identified. Gagnon is hoping for 30 to 40 people to participate. He's already working with an outdoors expert and search and rescue volunteers, but is looking to the local community to help out. People wishing to volunteer can call 604-922-6572.

While the RCMP investigation has wound down, Faber says she has come from Vancouver to the region at least six times to hold her own searches, after police efforts turned up nothing. So far she hasn’t fared better.

“So far absolutely nobody has seen him. Nobody has told me they’ve seen Dean since that day,” she says. “It seems like there should be something.”

The circumstances of Morrison’s disappearance and Faber’s efforts are what drew Gagnon in.

“The interest was that he went missing in the middle of the day,” Gagnon says. “He just vanished in the middle of the day, it’s very hard to explain.”

Gagnon, a retired RCMP officer with more than two decades of experience finding people, says people have been discovered after 20 years, so three isn’t too daunting. He has two theories on what happened; Either Morrison walked away from his life and left the ranch without being spotted, or his remains are still there, hidden.

Morrison had just separated from his wife earlier that month, and lost his job that day, so he was likely distressed. He was also a former provincial and federal NDP candidate, had spent time as a reporter and editor in Merritt and at one point owned a restaurant.

“He was an intelligent guy; he was involved in politics, well read, well travelled,” Gagnon says. “He wasn’t used to the outdoors.”

Gagnon hopes to find a lead to what might have happened, which he says could get the police to reopen their investigation. Right now he doesn’t think they have the budget or manpower to continue looking into a three-year-old case. Faber hasn't had much luck with the police lately.

“I call them off and on, they always told me it was open, but they’re not looking into it,” she says.

She continues to hold out hope for answers, though. Morrison’s disappearance is still part of her daily life.

“How could you give up? It’s my son!” she says. “I cry every day at some point, there’s always something that triggers it."

“How can you just disappear? I don’t know, I just want something, I just want to know.”

For more information on the search or to send any tips, click here.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Brendan Kergin or call 250-819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016
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