Mother has new reason for hope she'll find answers about son who went missing in Kelowna | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Mother has new reason for hope she'll find answers about son who went missing in Kelowna

Charles Horvath was 20 years old at the time of his disappearance.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / RCMP
September 02, 2020 - 2:36 PM

Denise Horvath Allan has been given new hope that she will have answers about how and why her son was taken from her 31 years ago.

Dave Grimstead, co-founder of Locate International, passed Charles Horvath's unsolved cold case file to The Leeds Beckett University Investigation Team two weeks ago — it’s the first case the team is taking on.

“I hope that Locate International and Leeds Beckett University can assist the RCMP in solving the case whilst I am still around,” Horvath Allan said. “I have pleaded for help for so many years, it was a shock when Locate International agreed to take on Missing Person file 1989-21784. I am indebted to Locate International and Leeds Beckett University for their assistance. Their assistance is like a gift from heaven. It has been a long, lonely road. Time to bring my boy home.”

Horvath explained that Kirsty Bennett, lecturer in the Leeds School of Social Sciences, is launching the cold case unit at the university to help victims' families, working alongside Locate International - a community interest company set up to help the families of missing people.

Grimstead, a retired police officer who has worked in London's Serious Crime Department, has three universities in the UK to take on unsolved cold case files.

READ MORE: Mother of man who went missing in Kelowna 30 years ago re-issues call for information

Charles Horvath
Charles Horvath

“He is an amazing gentleman who also accompanied me to the Royal Courts of Justice London Chancery Division for the Hearing of the Presumption of Death Certificate,” Horvath Allan said.

Horvath Allan was recently granted the Presumption of Death Certificate in England, something she’d been working toward for three years so she can deal with her son’s financial matters.

It was a process she described as “soul-destroying.”

Charles was on a “gap year” backpacking in Canada 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 Tiny Town, was weighted down with cinder blocks and dumped in Okanagan Lake.”

Charles’s 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

Find past stories on the Charles Horvath missing person case here.

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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