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MYSTERY: Where is Michael Dunahee?

“We need to know where he is and what happened,” said mom Crystal Dunahee.

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Thirty years into one of Canada’s longest-running missing person’s case, police and the parents of a missing Victoria boy hope a new sketch may provide a vital clue to bring him home.

“We need to know where he is and what happened,” said mom Crystal Dunahee.

Four-year-old Michael Dunahee — who was dressed in a blue hoodie, a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles T-shirt, rugby pants, and blue sneakers — went missing about noon, March 24, 1991, near the Blanshard Elementary school in BC’s capital city.

His mom, who was participating in a female flag football practice while hubby watched, had given Michael permission to play in the nearby playground and to wait there for his dad, Bruce.

“Stay there and wait for daddy to come,” she said, unaware those would be the last words she spoke to her boy.

Michael left his mother to join other children and was only a short distance away from his family when he vanished, never to be seen again.

After a frantic search by at least 50 people that day, police were quickly brought in.

“When Michael first disappeared (police) asked us what route we wanted to take,” recalled his mother at a recent news conference.

“We chose the route to make it as public as possible to get it out there that Michael disappeared.”

Michael vanished so quickly from a public place, the police quickly classified his case as an abduction rather than a missing child case, and all the detectives in the VPD were called in to begin the investigation.

Hundreds of tips began coming in every hour from across British Columbia and North America, and at the time they were all written on carbon paper and had to be sorted manually.

Police have said they believe if they’d the same technology available today, such as video surveillance, DNA techniques, and a computer system to sort tips, they may have been able to solve the case.

Michael’s disappearance spawned one of the largest police investigations in Canadian history and more than 11,000 tips poured in, including some that led to DNA testing of two adult males.

Victoria police directed all its resources into Michael’s case, with detectives looking through leads, investigating known sex offenders, and interviewing anyone who had been in the area around the time of the abduction.

They were unable to uncover much information, other than a witness report that a man in his late 40s or early 50s had been near the playground, and that a brown van had also been spotted nearby.

A month after Michael vanished, police staged a re-creation of his disappearance at Blanshard Elementary, which included using a brown van, but the tactic was unable to produce any new leads.

Reports of a young man who looked like Michael, and who had been living in British Columbia since 1991, surfaced in 2006 and breathed new life into the case.

Sadly, nothing came from the leads, and, after DNA testing was done, it was determined the man was not Michael.

In early 2009 U.S. police found a missing person poster of Dunahee in the Milwaukee, WI home of one Vernon Seitz.

Seitz, 62, confessed to his psychiatrist that he had killed a child in 1959, at the age of 12, and knew of another child killing.

Seitz was later found dead by Milwaukee police, apparently of natural causes.

In 2011, with the 20th anniversary of Michael’s disappearance approaching, police were notified of a man living in Chase, B.C., who looked like Michael Dunahee. DNA testing later determined that he too  was not Michael.

Two years later in 2013, another possible break came to light when a man with the username Canuckels posted on the message boards of canucks.com, the official website of the Vancouver Canucks hockey team, that police were coming for a DNA test.

They’d requested a blood sample from a Surrey, B.C. man who they believed could potentially be the missing boy.

Police later stated that DNA testing had determined the man was not Michael.

Despite the extraordinary number of tips and a $100,000 reward, police still do not have any solid leads in the case.

Now, in a last-ditch effort to locate the missing boy, Victoria Police released an age-enhanced sketch of Michael late last month on March 24, exactly 30 years to the day the boy vanished.

What Michael Dunahee may look like. Courtesy VPD

Police said the sketch is based on extensive work with the Dunahee family and investigators and brings together family history, forensic science and artistic skill.

“It shows what Michael may look like today at age 34,” said Victoria police Chief Del Manak, who added Victoria PD partnered with BC RCMP to lend more eyes and ears to the investigation.

“Anything we can do to use technology to our advantage — we will never give up hope.”

It’s hoped the new sketch will present new leads in what has become one of the country’s largest missing persons investigation.

Michael’s dad said it was strange looking at the image his adult son.

“The last time I saw him, he was four, four-and-a-half,” Bruce said.

Added Crystal: “If anyone knows anything, any piece of information that can help us find closure, bring Michael back to us  — that’s all we’re asking.

“You’ve taken away 30 years and we need to know where he is, what happened.”

Police say they’re still committed to the case and ask anyone with information to submit their tips to the dedicated Michael Dunahee tip line at 250-995-7444.

Mike D’Amour is a former investigative reporter for Sun Media, and the Western Standard’s B.C. bureau chief

mdamour@westernstandardonline.com

Mike D'Amour is the British Columbia Bureau Chief for the Western Standard. He worked as an investigative crime reporter at the Calgary & Winnipeg Suns. mdamour@westernstandardonline.com

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Third wall built around GraceLife Church as protesters gather

A large protest, and possible outdoor service, are expected at the site Sunday morning.

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Authorities have put a third fence around the GraceLife Church hoping to keep out crowds expected to gather Sunday morning.

AHS, with the help of RCMP, raided the church, in Spruce Grove, Wednesday morning erecting the initial barricades. The third level of defence was put up Saturday.

On Sunday morning, about 100 people gathered at the furthest barricade which was manned by more than as dozen police officers.

Protesters sang songs and hymns and yelled at the police.

One woman asked for her son to be allowed to go into the church to use the washroom. She was refused and launched a torrent of abuse against the police.

The church, under Pastor James Coates, had repeatedly violated COVID-19 laws by holding packed services with hundreds of people.

Coates turned himself into the RCMP and served more than a month in jail before being released with a $1,500 fine and a tongue-lashing from the judge.

Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro personally approved the AHS-RCMP raid and barricading of the Grace Life Church according to a UCP MLA that spoke to the Western Standard on condition of anonymity. Shandro has denied the story.

A large protest, and possible outdoor service, are expected at the site Sunday morning.

This story will be updated as the Sunday events happen.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

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Jivraj admits planting fake stories with Press Progress, CBC

Under oath, Jivraj admitted he was a long-time informant for Press Progress, the de facto media arm of the NDP.

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Western Standard News editor Dave Naylor has spent two weeks investigating the story of Caylan Ford. Ford seemed a rising political star – intelligent, photogenic and a working mother. She was recruited by Jason Kenney to run provincial for the UCP.

Ford seemed to be on the path to stardom when she was shot down in flames by rumours and planted news stories in a NDP-linked news site.

Ford blames one man for her downfall – Kiram Javrij. 

Over the next week, Naylor will tell their story backed with court documentation and interviews.

Karim Jivraj, under testimony during a deposition, detailed just how complex his undercover harassment of UCP candidate Caylan Ford, and other women was.

Under withering questioning by Ford’s Lawyer, R.E. Harrison, Javrij admitted to planting fake stories with the NDP-linked Press Progress and the CBC.

In October 2018, Jivraj wrote a letter accusing Ford of committing “residency fraud” and claimed she was ineligible to stand as a candidate for election in the riding of Calgary Mountainview.

“He asked nine members of my constituency association board to sign the letter, but did not sign it himself,” said Ford in an exclusive interview with the Western Standard.

“Then he sent it to the media, and invited journalists to report on his allegations. Press Progress did.”

The following is a portion of the Q and A between Harrison and Jivraj.

Harrison: You say that you helped author the letter?
A: Yes.

Harrison then ask Jivraj who else on the board helped author the letter to then UCP Executive Director Janice Harrington.

Q: Now, after authoring the letter, you circulated it to the other board directors to seek their signatures?

A: Yes. I — I and others circulated it.

Read Javrij’s letter to the Mountainview board

Harrison then got Jivraj to admit he didn’t sign the letter he letter. Jivraj then detailed how he was the one who sent the letter to the NDP-linked news website, Press Progress.

Q: The October 13, 2018, article from Press Progress is entitled “UCP Constituency Association Accuses Jason Kenney’s Handpicked ‘Parachute Candidate’ of Breaking Party Rules.” Do you see that.

A: Yeah.

Q: Do you recognize this article?

A: Yes.

Q: Now, do you know who sent the October 1, 2018, letter to Press Progress?

A: I believe I did.

In November 2018, Jivraj purchased Google attack ads on searches of Ford’s name. These ads included a fabricated quotation, which Jivraj attributed to Ford. Harrison asked Jivraj who bought them.

A: I’m not sure if “purchase” is the right word. I received a free $50 budget on Google Ads, and so that was used for this. So there was no monetary investment.”

Q: Okay. So these ads were posted by you?

A: Yes.

In November 2018, Jivraj used a pseudonymous email account to send defamatory statements about Ford to 1,300 of her electors. The emails included another fabricated quotation which he attributed to Ford.

Q: You see the last attack ad has a quote: “My family has lived in southwest Calgary for generations. I could never live in north Calgary. Anywhere above the Bow is basically a suburb.” Do you see that quotation?

A: Yes

Q: Did you create that quotation?

A: I don’t believe so.

Q: Where did you get that quotation from?

A: I’m not sure. I think Ms. Ford may have said something along those lines when I was looking for a place in Calgary.

Q: You’re aware that Ms. Ford has lived in the neighbourhood of Sunnyside?

A: I became aware of that afterward.

Q: And why did these attack — why did these ads link to Press Progress?

A : That’s a good question. I don’t know.

Under oath, Jivraj admitted he was a long-time informant for Press Progress, the de facto media arm for the NDP.

Q: Did you email or call PressProgress to disclose this conversation?

A: I can’t recall. I don’t — I can’t recall if I reached out directly to Press Progress. I think the — what initiated the cycle of events was my meeting, my physical meeting at (Calgary coffee shop) Vendome.

Q: What I want to know is whether you phoned Press Progress to provide them with the contents of the conversation or provide them information

A: I can’t recall.

Q: Why did Press Progress call you out of the blue as you’ve insinuated.

Jivraj admits he has been in contact with Press Progress previously to discuss provincial and federal politics.

Q: OK, How many times would you have spoken with Press Progress previously to their phone call to you?

A: Again, I don’t want to guess, but several, several times.

Jivraj admits he has been in contact with Press progress since 2015. Ford herself then jumps into the questioning, asking Jivraj about his dealings with the CBC.

CBC Logo (photo credit CBC)

Ford: Did you disclose additional private messages between yourself and me to the CBC?

A: Yes

Ford: Have you created any other pseudonymous Twitter accounts?

A: Yeah. In my various political activities, yes, I’ve created many.

Ford is suing Jivraj, Press Progress and several media outlets for a total of $7 million.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

The saga of Karim Jivraj’s campaign against Ford and other conservative women is just too incredible to be told in a single feature article.

That’s why the Western Standard decided to break it down into a series, which will dive into several of the actions taken by Jivraj. It’s a story we did not believe until we obtained the evidence.

COMING NEXT: Tap on back leads to assault allegations from Rivraj against Ford

PREVIOUSLY: 
How a Conservative candidate worked with the NDP to bring down star UCP candidate
Tory candidate admits using a fake Twitter account to spread false sexual rumours
Jivraj admits to undercover online campaigns against women

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EXCLUSIVE: UCP MLA says Shandro approved barricading GraceLife Church

But a spokesman for Shandro denied any involvement by the minister.

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Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro personally approved the AHS-RCMP raid and barricading of the Grace Life Church according to a UCP MLA that spoke to the Western Standard on condition of anonymity.

RCMP and Alberta Health Services conducted a Wednesday dawn raid on the church in Spruce Grove, Alberta after it repeatedly refused to comply to lockdown and capacity orders from the government.

“Shandro directly signed off on the raid,” said the MLA.

The MLA said the public backlash against the raid has rocked the government, and they are considering removing the wall before an expected large service is held there Sunday.

But a spokesman for Shandro denied any involvement by the minister.

“Minister Shandro did not direct or sign off this action. The law gives AHS independent authority to carry out such an action. The Minister is not required to sign off on enforcement activity such as seen at GraceLife, nor did he sign off. “

The move against the church came the day after Alberta Premier Jason Kenney threw the province back into a COVID-19 lockdown for the third time, discarding the policy of phased reopening based on measurable targets.

The move infuriated even members of his own caucus, with 17 UCP MLAs signing a public letter denouncing Kenney.

Another UCP MLA told the Western Standard they are “100% certain” Kenney will be the subject of an early party leadership review.

“Caucus is in total chaos,” said the MLA, who also spoke on the condition of anonymity.

A new Angus Reid poll this week showed a whopping 75% of Albertans oppose Kenney’s handling of the pandemic, including those that believe he has gone too far in restrictions, and those who believe that he hasn’t gone far enough.

Former federal Canadian Alliance leader Stockwell Day the Alberta government for barricading the GraceLife Church, saying it would bring “gleeful howls” from dictators around the world.

The church’s pastor, James Coates recently spent 35 days in the Edmonton Remand Centre after refused to agree to stop preaching as a condition of his bail.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

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