Five years after Aaron Derbyshire went missing from a Kelowna nightclub, his friends and family continue to look for the answers that will offer peace of mind.
“We know he’s not coming back now,” said Aaron’s mother Glenda, Friday, at a press conference where 19 family members gathered to issue a public plea for information.
“But we don’t have a death certificate and we haven’t had a memorial service. I know people out there know what has happened and where Aaron is. Help us start some healing.”
Aaron, 22, was last seen on Sept. 30, 2006 at around 1:40 a.m., by his friends at Splashes, which is now called Level.
His friends left the Lawrence Avenue nightclub to watch a fight, while he stayed inside. When the group went home, Derbyshire wasn’t with them.
Several days later, when Aaron’s family was gathering for a rafting trip, his out-of-character absence prompted a missing person’s report.
Five years, and 300 tips and countless witness interviews later, he’s yet to be seen. The investigation into his disappearance has continued to come up short, and his mother Glenda hopes their plea will find its way to those who have an idea of what may have happened five years ago.
“What’s most tragic is not knowing where he is,” Glenda said. “Being a mum I want to protect him… I want to find him and have some happiness again.”
His loss, she explained, has created a chasm in their family that’s felt when her new grandchildren ask questions about the uncle they’ve never met. They feel his loss when they gather for wedding, family parties and even somber occasions.
And for one family member, the question of what happened will never be answered.
“Aaron’s grandfather died never knowing what happened to Aaron,” said his grandmother Isabelle. “Aaron’s disappearance broke his heart.”
Despite the fact Aaron’s disappearance has yet to be solved, the investigation has not stopped and past and new information is continually examined.
“The lens of this investigation is still wide open and possible scenarios and theories have been contemplated,” said Const. Steve Holmes. We are not able to speak of any details because the information to confirm them is not yet known. The integrity of this investigation is paramount and cannot be compromised by providing any information already gleaned.”
Those with answers are encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477)