Mother asks for clues to son's whereabouts 31 years after his Kelowna disappearance | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Mother asks for clues to son's whereabouts 31 years after his Kelowna disappearance

Charles Horvath was 20 years old at the time of his disappearance.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / RCMP
May 25, 2020 - 6:00 PM

It’s been 31 years since Charles Horvath disappeared from Kelowna and his mother has never stopped looking for him or for answers to questions that linger in her mind.

Denise Horvath-Allan has traveled from England to Kelowna countless times to rattle cages, knock on doors and issue public pleas for just one person to break what she calls a “conspiracy of silence.”

This year, she’s staying home. At more than 70 years old, she can’t even leave her house due to COVID-19 quarantine orders and the weight of knowing that another year has passed without new information is heavy. Still, she has hope that one day she will know where he came to rest, who was responsible and why he died.

“Let 2020 be the year that there are answers so desperately needed as to the fate of young Charles, lost in 1989,” she said, asking that someone find the “courage” to speak up at long last.

While she can’t guarantee what others do, she is shifting gears this year and has made moves to deal with her son’s estate. Last year, she filed for a Presumption of Death Certificate to be listed for a hearing in the High Court in London.

“I have been working on it for three years,” she said. “Soul destroying. All being well we should have a date soon and hopefully by the end of the year the judge will have made his decision whether to grant the application or not.”

And, as that moves through the courts, she is also turning to her friends on the Our Choir Voices for Missing — formerly the Missing People Choir — to sing a song close to her heart.

“They had their first rehearsal online via Zoom,” she said. “I commissioned Hannah Saunders to write it for Charles some years ago. So pleased that our choir master James Hawkins has decided that the choir is going to sing it.”

Remembering Charles and making sure others don't forget either, is a driving force in her life.

Her son was on a “gap year” backpacking when he stopped in Kelowna and was last seen on May 26, 1989 cashing a cheque at the Orchard Park Royal Bank.

He’d been living at the old Tiny Town campsite in a tent, and it's there she believes the secrets to his disappearance are kept.

“A witness contacted me to say that they lived at Tiny Tent Town Campsite and RV Park at 3316 Lakeshore Rd. in the ‘90s,” she said, in a recent interview. “They said it was common knowledge that Charles had been killed at TinyTown, was weighted down with cinder blocks and dumped in Okanagan Lake.”

She has no doubt that foul play was involved and can’t understand how people who might have information about his disappearance have remained silent.

His belongings, camping tools and personal property was located there and that’s why the RCMP say the disappearance was suspicious in nature.

The RCMP is asking anyone with information to come forward and call Sgt. Paul Gosling of the Kelowna Serious Crime Unit at 250-762-3300. Or if you want to remain anonymous you can call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or leave an online tip at

To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 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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