May 12, 1986
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada,
|Disappeared||March 24, 1991 (aged 4)
Blanshard Park Elementary School Playground
|Status||Missing for 23 years and 9 months|
Michael Wayne Dunahee (born May 12, 1986) is a missing child from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, who disappeared when he was four years old, and has never been found. He disappeared from the playground at Blanshard Park Elementary School, also known as the Blanshard Street Playground, in Victoria, British Columbia on March 24, 1991. Michael was last seen around 12:30 p.m. playing at the school playground as his mother, Crystal Dunahee, was participating in a female football practice event to which his father was a spectator. Michael disappeared metres from his parents, but no witnesses to Michael's disappearance have ever been identified.
Michael's disappearance spawned one of the largest police investigations in Canadian history and to date, over 11,000 tips have been received by police. The case was a major story for many years, being reported across Canada and in the US. Despite the large number of tips, and a $100,000 reward, police do not have any solid leads in the case.
Michael's mother Crystal has become an advocate for missing children's issues in British Columbia, and currently serves as the president of Child Find British Columbia. In 2002, Crystal lent her voice to support the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in calls to introduce an Amber Alert system in BC, stating that she believes her son would have been found had such a program existed in 1991. The system has since been implemented in most regions of Canada.
The community of Esquimalt, part of the Greater Victoria metropolitan area, holds an annual charity event called the Michael Dunahee "Keep the Hope Alive" Fund Run to raise money for Child Find. 2006 marked the 15th annual run.
In 2006, strong tips, and reports of a young man who would be Michael's age now, living in the interior of BC who arrived there in 1991, who looked like Michael, breathed new life into the case. For several weeks, news stations carried the story that the Michael Dunahee case had been re-opened after several strong leads, perhaps bringing a conclusion to what happened to Michael. However, nothing came out of the leads, and the report of the young man in the interior of BC was determined not to be Michael after DNA testing was done.
In early 2009, new life was once again brought to the Dunahee case. U.S. police found a "missing person" poster of Dunahee at the Milwaukee home of a possible child killer. Vernon Seitz, 62, confessed to his psychiatrist that he had killed a child in 1959 and knew of another child killing. Seitz was later found dead by Milwaukee police, apparently of natural causes.
In 2013, another possible big break first surfaced when a man with the username Canuckels posted on the message boards of canucks.com, the official website of the Vancouver hockey team, that the cops were coming for a DNA test. They requested a blood sample from a Surrey, B.C. man who could potentially be the boy. On September 9, 2013, DNA testing has determined that the Surrey, B.C., man is not Michael Dunahee, the Victoria Police Department says.
- "The Doe Network: Case File 148DMBC". Retrieved 2008-09-04.
- "Reward offered in case of missing Victoria boy". CBC. March 24, 2006.
- Child Find British Columbia - Information - Board of Directors
- "B.C. police want missing kids alert system". CBC News. August 21, 2002.
- "B.C. boy's fate still a mystery 20 years later". CBC News. Mar 23, 2011.
- "Mysterious U.S. man was 'familiar' to family of missing Michael Dunahee". CBC News. January 7, 2009. Retrieved 16 October 2010.
- "B.C. man getting DNA testing could be Michael Dunahee". thestar. July 25, 2013.
- "Surrey man not missing Michael Dunahee, DNA test shows". CBC News. September 9, 2013.
- MissingKids.ca profile of Michael Dunahee
- Child Find Canada profile of Michael Dunahee
- Child Find Canada
- CBC Current Interview Constable Rick Anthony of the Victoria City Police and Crystal Dunahee, the mother of Michael Dunahee are interviewed on the CBC radio program The Current on July 14, 2004