Tuesday, March 19 marked five years since Kellen McElwee went missing, and his parents are desperate to bring his body home.
“You don’t have to identify yourself. We simply want to find his body so we can bury him,” said McElwee’s mother Paula, who along with her husband Len spoke at a press conference held at RCMP E division headquarters in Surrey on Tuesday.
“Try to put yourself in our position. It’s awful. It’s the excruciating pain that no one understands,” she said. “For these five years all we get to do is wonder what happened to our son.”
Five years ago 25-year-old Kellen, who grew up in Surrey, went missing after having dinner with friends at the Keg in Langley. McElwee didn’t show up the next day at the Rogers call centre where he worked as a trainer. Several days later McElwee’s bronze 2006 Honda Civic was found abandoned on a residential street in Burnaby, a few blocks from his apartment where he lived alone. Investigators believed he met with foul play and on April 22, 2008 IHIT took conduct of the file.
“Police have received many tips throughout the years but none that have led us to Kellen’s body. Doing so remains our priority,” said IHIT Sgt. Jennifer Pound on Tuesday. On the one year anniversary of Kellen going missing, his parents offered a $100,000 reward that would lead to answers about their son. The reward was never claimed.
Based on the information gathered to date, police have not been able to make any conclusive links to gangs, drugs or organized crime as being responsible for the disappearance of Kellen. He has no criminal record.
On April 2, 2008, Burnaby RCMP released surveillance photos of a man of interest who was inside McElwee’s condo building at that time. The male in the photos was wearing a winter jacket with a fur-rimmed hood and carrying a DC brand backpack. To date, police have not been able to identify this man and would still like to, said Pound.
“Five years is a very long time to hold on to this information and we know that lifestyles can change significantly in this period of time,” said Pound. “With the change of lifestyle comes better decision making and choices. We are asking that you make the choice to come forward with information that will allow this family to feel at peace.”
Anyone with information is asked to call the IHIT tip line at 1-877-551-4448 or if you wish to remain anonymous call Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.