Ryan Shtuka vigil to be held on two-year anniversary of disappearance | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Ryan Shtuka vigil to be held on two-year anniversary of disappearance

Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Wikimedia Commons and B.C. RCMP
February 02, 2020 - 5:00 PM

Ryan Shtuka vanished from a house party at Sun Peaks resort two years ago Feb. 17 and to mark the anniversary of his disappearance the community will hold a vigil in his honour.

Organizer Jo-dell Stanley said the vigil is a way for the community to show support for the Shtukas. Although she doesn’t have any formal ties to the family, when Shtuka’s mother Heather asked the  community for help with her search, it struck a chord.

“The one thing that stuck in my head is if I was somewhere and knew nobody and my son was missing, who do you go to for help? You rely on the beauty of strangers,” Stanley said.

She hopes Shtuka’s story will change the way searches are held for missing people. She said the community has rallied for the family and hopes other groups will connect to find missing people in the future.

“Everybody matters,” she said. It's a way to show the family that Shtuka has not been forgotten.

The vigil will be held Feb. 17 at 5:30 p.m. at parking lot 2. It will be followed by a walk before the release of Chinese lanterns. At 7 p.m. Stanley is encouraging others around the world to light a candle to show support for families missing a loved one.

“It’s heartbreaking to see what you have to deal with (when you lose a love one),” she said. “We’re always promoting random acts of kindness in Ryan’s name.”

Sun Peaks Ski Resort is also holding a run Feb. 8 in his honour. His family will be in attendance.

Anyone wanting to participate is asked to meet at the top of Sunburst Express chairlift at 3 p.m. to take part in the group ski down the 5 Mile run.

Participants are also invited to ride the Village Platter or Village Capet up to the Tube Park, where Ryan worked during his season in Sun Peaks.

Complimentary hot chocolate will be provided at the Tube Park. A valid lift ticket is required to access the Sunburst Express chairlift, village platter and village carpet.

A documentary, titled Peaks and Valleys: The Search for Ryan Shtuka was a finalist in the Canada Shorts Film Festival highlights their efforts.

The 20-year-old was reported missing at the mountain resort, located northeast of Kamloops, Feb. 17, 2018. He had been living and working at the resort for two months, and was last seen leaving a house party on Burfield Drive in the village, which was just a short distance from his home.

Click here for past stories on Ryan Shtuka.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Carli Berry or call 250-864-7494 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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