A man known as the “Big Bear” whose remains were found in Aldergrove last year, has been identified.
He is Barry Steven Maslanka-Ewing. He would have been 58 this year.
Langley RCMP spokesman Cpl. Holly Marks said that even though there is no evidence of foul play in Maslanka-Ewing’s death, police want to know where he was living between 2002 and 2005. They would like to hear from anyone who knew him during those years.
The cause of death could not be determined, Marks said.
“I think it’s important to have some idea where he lived, partly for closure for the family and to ensure that there wasn’t anything untoward in his death,” Marks said.
Maslanka-Ewing and his family had not kept in touch for many years, she added.
Maslanka-Ewing’s remains were discovered by contractors working for B.C. Hydro, pruning trees on Department of Defence property in the 26200 block of Robertson Crescent on Nov. 29, 2011.
The contractors first stumbled upon a skull, and a search by RCMP officers uncovered other bones and personal effects.
An investigation showed that the remains had been at the Robertson Crescent location for several years, Marks said.
The investigation has also determined that Maslanka-Ewing lived the last part of his life with family friends in the Aldergrove area, Marks said.
After approximately six weeks, he left and may have become homeless, she said.
The area of the DoD property was once used as married quarters, and although most buildings were dismantled years ago, homeless people were known to set up shelters there in derelict buildings.
Marks said that Maslanka-Ewing had never been on the RCMP’s radar, and police have no idea what he was doing the day he died, or how he came to be on the Aldergrove DoD land.
Anyone with information that might help police with the final pieces of the mystery is asked to call Langley RCMP at 604 532-3200.