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Kamloops man learning to live with father's unsolved murder eight years on

Dalton Gair's father Robert Gair was murdered and his body discovered near Kamloops in 2017. No one has been charged.

It took years for Dalton Gair to forgive his late father.

Robert Gair was murdered in the Kamloops area more than seven years ago, but he was estranged from the family well before that. Dalton, now 30, resented him for it.

But now he's learned to accept his father's death, remembering Robert fondly and keeping a constant reminder tattooed on his body: the initials R.G. on the underside of his right wrist.

"I was mad at him for four years. Then I realized it's not worth holding on to that," Dalton said.

The murder remains unsolved, and Dalton isn't convinced there will ever be a criminal charge, but he doesn't dwell on that.

Robert was 52 years old when he was reported missing to police. Three weeks later, his body was found in a rural area east of Kamloops.

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It came three years after Robert lost his job in the Alberta oil industry.

Dalton said Robert started using drugs and eventually separated from his wife, Dalton's mother.

Growing up in Kamloops, Dalton said he enjoyed his childhood and had a close relationship with his father. He fondly remembers camping and fishing with his dad and listening to him play guitar.

Dalton said his father would often play songs by Clint Black, George Strait and The Eagles. Dalton himself was named after The Eagles' song Doolin–Dalton.

Robert Leslie Gair
Robert Leslie Gair
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Kamloopsfuneralhome.com

Dalton was in his early 20s when Robert went missing. In the weeks after Robert's disappearance Dalton, his sister and his mother were all called to the Kamloops RCMP detachment.

"They said we have a lead on your dad," Dalton said. "My mom and my sister knew what that meant. They knew he was dead, but I didn't."

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He went to the Kamloops RCMP detachment where officers told the three of them Robert's body was found.

Dalton said Robert's body was so lacerated when he was found that dental records were used to confirm his identity. His body was cremated before his ashes were passed on to the family.

"You get a box of ashes and they say, 'This is your dad.' It's hard to accept," Dalton said.

Moving on from his father's homicide seemed to be an impossible task, especially without knowing who did it, but even worse for Dalton was pretending he died of anything else.

"My uncle would tell people he died of a heart attack. I got so mad," he said. "We shouldn't hide what actually happened."

The public wasn't notified that Robert's body had been found three weeks after he was reported missing. It was months later the Southeast District RCMP told the public it was "continuing" an investigation into Robert's murder.

READ MORE: Why police think you didn't need to know about missing person, homicide for seven months

At the time, police said the murder was believed to have taken place in September 2016. It was Oct. 6 before the family was told about the murder, but where Robert's body was found wasn't revealed to them until it was announced publicly the following April.

Cpl. Dan Moskaluk, RCMP spokesperson at the time, said it's "not uncommon" for police to withhold information from the public. At the time that included the fact that a Kamloops resident's body had been found on a rural road near the city and that it was deemed a homicide.

iNFOnews.ca reached out to police for updates on the investigation, including whether there are any suspects or if the case has gone cold.

BC RCMP spokesperson Cpl. James Grandy told this reporter that he's "not in any position to provide you answers to your questions or any specifics about the case."

— This story was updated at 8:21 a.m., July 10, 2024, to correctly state Robert Gair died in 2016.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Levi Landry or call 250-819-3723 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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