Rena Zacher can’t find her 34-year-old son Cory Westcott.
The police can’t locate him either, even though she says they have used ground crews, dogs, a helicopter and a dive team.
“This is the worst nightmare I have ever experienced,” she told the Star on Thursday after her son had been missing for 24 days.
Westcott, who moved to Nelson from Vancouver last summer, went to visit a friend on Aug. 31. She says the friend has since told police that yes, Westcott was there, but he left the same night.
The morning of Sept. 1, Zacher, a rural Nelson resident, says she woke up worried about Westcott but didn’t know why. She tried to contact him, but with no response.
Over the next few days, some of his friends told her they hadn’t seen him since Aug. 31 and that he had been missing appointments. “That’s not like him,” his mother says.
Police found his truck, a grey 2007 Toyota Tundra crew cab pickup with the keys still in it, parked by the Kootenay Canal and sent a dive team out.
“And there was no sign of him there,” says Zacher. “In my heart, I don’t think he is there.”
Zacher says she keeps asking questions and “I have found out more and more details every time I talk to people. And so I believe the truth will come out at some point. But I don’t think my son ever was where his truck was.”
She is happy with the work of the police.
“The police have been awesome. I have to say they’ve been just great.”
Westcott moved to Nelson to be closer to his mother and sister, and to get a fresh start in life, Zacher says.
“He was trying to find his place here, find where he wanted to be. He attended church here. He had signed up for a church group just recently. He was very much a Christian. He couldn’t eat unless he prayed and blessed his food. He was a strong believer in God.”
Westcott was doing odd jobs but otherwise had not found work in Nelson.
“He actually wanted to find investors and and start a facility for drug users and addicts, because that was something very close to his heart. He just wanted to make a change in the world in that direction.”
She said her son had problems with drugs years ago.
“He was doing really well now and he was healthy. He attended the gym every day. He had plans for his future.”
Zacher says she enjoyed her son’s company.
“My son is a character. He has a very good sense of humour. He likes to joke. But he also had a heart of gold. If he saw you down the street and you looked like you needed something, he’d be the first one to offer you $5 if you needed it. He was very, very good-hearted.”
The police investigation is still open and Zacher is living with a mix of hope and dread.
“I just want to find him. I don’t really think that he’s in this world any more. But I want to find out.”
Anyone with information about the whereabouts of Cory Westcott is asked to contact the Nelson Police Department at 250-354-3919 or Zacher at 250-801-8892.