Documentary on Ryan Shtuka hopes to bring more light to his disappearance

By Chad Klassen
August 1, 2018 - 5:26pm Updated: August 1, 2018 - 6:17pm

KAMLOOPS — It's been more than five months since Ryan Shtuka went missing after leaving a party at Sun Peaks in the early morning hours of Feb. 17. 

The family has been back and forth from their home in Beaumont, Alberta with no signs of Ryan. 

"I thought the worst thing was the text message that I received that said he was missing and he hadn't shown up for work. Our hearts dropped," said Ryan's mom Heather Shtuka. "Then I thought the worst thing I would ever hear was we found your son. I have since learned there are more horrible things that I have yet to hear, and one of them will be maybe we haven't found your son, maybe we will never find your son."

Heather says she's kept it together as the community has helped search for her son, but there are moments that remind her that Ryan is not there. 

"Today I went to go and do a simple bank transaction to make sure Ryan's account stays current and his car loan gets paid, and just to see the account number makes me cry," said Heather. "It's a reminder of everything we've lost so far and that there's no end in sight."

Inspired by Ryan's disappearance, Russell Walton and a group of local filmmakers want to shine more light on the story. They are in the planning stages of a documentary called Peaks and Valleys: The Search for Ryan Shtuka, a project they have pitched to the Storyhive contest in the hopes of winning a $50,000 grant. 

"Part of the story, a big part, is the community's involvement and the experience the family has had with the disappearance of their son and the search," said Walton. "If there are no more details that come out and no more progression with the case, then our focus will be on the community involvement."

The group hopes the community rallies behind them, as they done already around the Shtuka family, and votes for their project online. They hope to make a difference and help in the effort to find Ryan. 

"Even what's come out of it already, whether or not we get this grant," Walton noted. "Just the amount of attention that it's brought back to Ryan's case has a lot of value I think."

The Shtuka family was on board with the project right from the beginning, hoping the documentary reaches beyond the B.C. Interior and creates more leads. 

"I hope it will be a legacy for Ryan," Heather said. "I hope it will generate people who may have seen something, heard something, for them to come forward. From an investigative standpoint, maybe the boys are able to follow through on things that we wouldn't have necessarily done as family members, so maybe that takes the investigation into a new direction, which is really all we need."

WATCH: Trailer of Peaks and Valleys: The Search For Ryan Shtuka

You can vote for Peaks and Valleys: The Search For Ryan Shtuka here

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