US missing persons podcaster looking into Ryan Shtuka case | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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US missing persons podcaster looking into Ryan Shtuka case

Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Wikimedia Commons and B.C. RCMP
March 02, 2021 - 7:00 AM

An American missing person's podcaster has turned her focus north to the Ryan Shtuka case.

Shtuka, 20, mysteriously disappeared while walking home from a party at Sun Peaks Feb. 17, 2018. He hasn't been seen since, despite significant effort by his family and volunteers who have searched the area. It’s a mystery that looks like it may go unsolved unless someone with information comes forward.

“This case is so captivating,” Amanda Popineau, of the podcast Nowhere To Be Found said. “He vanished with no trace and there was none of the usual stuff, like drugs, involved — he went to a party and didn’t make it home on what should have been a three-minute walk.”

Popineau said it's particularly strange that nothing has been found in the three years since the winter he went missing, given the amount of attention and resources that have been applied.

“Accidents happen, but when the snow melts you’d think they’d find something — but there’s nothing,” she said.

Popineau has been in contact with Shtuka’s mom, Heather, and plans to have an in-depth interview for the podcast.

She also wants to build on the work done in the A Podcast for the Missing by Tyler Hooper and speak with search and rescue crews who searched the area in the days after Shtuka went missing.

She’s also going to try and speak to people who were at the party that Ryan was at that night because too few people have heard their stories.

“They’re hesitant, but nobody can tell that story as well as those people,” she said.

While it’s early to say what’s going to come of the podcast, Popineau said that the belief has shifted from Shtuka dying near the party to believing he was taken away.

By who and to what end remains to be seen and if the podcast can help raise attention around that issue, all the better.

Popineau has an audience of around 100,000 for her podcast, and started because of curiosity about a local-to-her missing person’s case.

Michael Bryson went missing from Eugene, Oregon, and it struck a chord with her.

“His dad was my UPS guy, and I heard about all these ravers at this party, and I thought, ’there’s a huge story here,’” she said.

So she called around, and became a bit of an armchair detective and turned what she found into the podcast.

That position helped people be more candid with her, she said, and she hopes to bring that to the Shtuka case.

If you want to talk about Shtuka or saw him that night, contact her at  nowheretobefound2020@gmail.com  or call 541-933-0488.

Nowhere to be Found can be downloaded from anywhere you would find a podcast.


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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