KELOWNA – RCMP are sharing a story about solving a 38-year-old missing person case in the hope the public have clues to another historic missing person file.
Thomas Matson was reported missing to the West Kelowna RCMP on March 28, 2000. While en route from Calgary to Vancouver in May the previous year, he stopped in Peachland and was last seen walking on Beach Avenue, according to a RCMP media release.
There has been no sign from him since.
RCMP say at the time of his disappearance, Matson was 44-years-old, about 6’2" tall, 172 lbs. with brown hair and blue eyes.
“When a person unexpectedly goes missing the impact is felt by many people,” Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey says in the release. “Most missing person cases reported to police are solved relatively quickly but those that aren’t have a lasting impact on affected families and communities.”
To illustrate this impact, O’Donaghey tells a story of how Kelowna RCMP recently solved a 38-year-old missing person case using new technologies and investigative tools, and the relief it brought to two families.
The man, whose identity is not given in the release, was last seen in 1978. Since then police determined that he had been living under an assumed identity and had a second family under his real name.
The man, who has since died, had two daughters from the relationships. Neither knew of the other.
"The feeling of not having those answers can only be understood by someone who has experienced it," one of the daughters told police. "I cannot thank the RCMP enough for the support I have received throughout this investigation. It meant so much to me to know that they would never give up on trying to find my dad."
O'Donaghey admits this missing person file is unique.
“Kelowna RCMP remains committed to investigating all unsolved missing person cases, hopefully with more happy endings," he says in the release. "The missing people, as well as their families and friends, deserve this.”
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Thomas Matson or any other missing person is asked to contact their local police department, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 for those wishing to remain anonymous.
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