Mother makes emotional plea for information on missing son

By Tanya Cronin
February 20, 2018 - 5:07pm Updated: February 21, 2018 - 8:34am

KAMLOOPS — It has been four days since Ryan Shtuka mysteriously disappeared in Sun Peaks. The 20 year old, who moved to the mountain ski resort just a few months ago to work the winter season, went missing early Saturday morning after leaving a house party just minutes from where he lived. Family and friends, local volunteers and RCMP have been searching around the clock, but still no sign of Ryan. His mother is speaking out, appealing to anyone with information on her son's whereabouts.   

"He would hate for me to say that he's my baby, my first born, he's an amazing individual for sure, so smart, funny."

It's been an agonizing four days for Heather Warren Shtuka who is living every parent's worst nightmare.

"You just feel this despair, I don't know what to expect, but we were having difficulties believing it could be true," says Heather Warren Shtuka, Ryan's Mother.

February 17 was the last time anyone saw Ryan Shtuka. The 20 year old vanished after leaving a house party on Burfield Drive in Sun Peaks Resort, just after 2 a.m. in the morning. It's believed Ryan was headed home, just a 5 minute walk away, a route his mother says he had taken countless times before. 

"He's not one of those kids, he's not a kid he's a man, he's not one of those ones that would just go off and certainly not tell us where he was, he was here for a purpose and he was happy doing what he was doing here."

Ryan moved to Sun Peaks from Alberta in December to spend the winter season at the mountain ski resort. Family and friends have made the trip out to BC to search for him. Four days, and volunteers continue to comb the woods, creeks and ravines for any sign of the 20 year old. 

Tuesday morning, the RCMP's canine unit conducted a major ground search as well, and the police helicopter has been active canvassing the area from the skies. But with plummeting temperatures and heavy snow, Ryan's mother fears time is running out in finding her son alive.

"If he's been out in the elements it's really hard to believe that he will have survived with what he was wearing for so long, if he can come back, be safe, we would accept any possibility at this pint in time."

Ryan hasn't used his cellphone or been active on social media since he disappeared. The Shtuka family is appealing to anyone who may have information on Ryan's whereabouts, to come forward.  

"We're really looking for anybody that was at the party or was leaving and coming home to staff residences or to their houses and may have seen him and didn't think it was relevant, if we can pinpoint more of a timeline for him, maybe a direction it will help our search."

Given the cold wintry weather, there's an extra level of urgency to find Ryan. The family is looking for more volunteers as they prepare to expand the search. Ryan's mother, still holding out hope she will once again wrap her arms around her son.    

"Did he go into a basement because the snow was coming down, is he locked in there, did he climb into a car, any of those things you just think maybe, when we think he was in the elements and maybe not survived maybe there's another option now. I'm his mom, I'm going to hold out hope forever," says Shtuka.

20 year old Ryan Shtuka is described as white, 6 feet tall, 180lbs, with blonde hair and brown eyes.

He was wearing dark jeans, a grey/white shirt, a blue coat, and a burgundy ball cap when last seen. 

Anyone with information is asked to call Kamloops RCMP at 250-828-3000.

A fundraising page has been set up to help pay for the families expenses.

It can be found here.

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