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Missing five years, family still has hope
The things that Sarah Foulds misses about her uncle Wes are too many to list.
He was the kind of guy who would drop by her house on a whim for a chat and coffee or surprise her kids, who he spoiled rotten. He was the kind of uncle who would drop everything for his niece.
“I really miss those random pop-bys,” said Sarah, of Maple Ridge, who shared her uncle’s dreams of opening a home to care for adults with special needs. That dream is on hold, in limbo until her uncle comes back.
It has been five years since Wesley Craig Foulds disappeared and his family is determined to keep his memory alive.
“All I know is a bunch of people had their hearts ripped out that day and we haven’t got them back” said Fould’s sister and Sarah’s mother Jamie Weinberger.
“We are not giving up. I just don’t want people to forget about him.”
Foulds, 53, left his Abbotsford home – near the McCallum Road Hwy. 1 exit – in his 2007 red Dodge Ram pickup truck for an 11:30 a.m. doctor’s appointment in Burnaby on March 4, 2009.
His common-law wife, Shelby Bernard, reported him missing that night, after Foulds failed to show up for his job as a health-care provider in Whonnock. He was the kind of guy who never missed a day of work.
The following day, Foulds’ truck, bearing licence plate 0833EH, was found by a B.C. Hydro crew at the Hayward recreation site in Mission.
An extensive search of the area was conducted. More than 100 people scoured the thick woods but found no trace of Foulds. Later, DNA samples taken from a small speck of blood found on the driver’s seat proved to be Foulds’.
In 2011, a witness told Abbotsford Police she believed she saw Foulds, driving his pickup truck west along Lougheed Highway with someone in the passenger seat on the day he went missing.
There have been few leads since.
“I know someone out there knows something because people don’t just disappear,” said Weinberger, who is not yet ready to give up her brother for dead.
She adds on the morning of the disappearance her brother was making calls, looking to pick up additional evening shifts at work. Those are not the actions of a man who was about to take his own life, or deliberately disappear. Since his disappearance there have been no financial transactions, no contact with people he loved.
Though Foulds’ common-law partner believes he is dead, his family is not ready to abandon hope.
The last thing Weinberger and her family want is for Foulds to be forgotten amongst the hundreds of missing people in Canada.
Weinberger has a thick file on her brother, filled with news articles and research. In her search for answers, she has learned that little attention is paid to missing men.
Since 2000, 139 men in B.C. have been reported missing compared to 69 women, said Weinberger, who has been keeping an unofficial tally.
“But you never hear about the men.”
Foulds’ family is organizing a vigil at Hayward Lake on March 1 at 5 p.m. to mark the fifth year of his disappearance. For info, see http://tinyurl.com/kokq6hr.
“You always have hope,” said Weinberger.
Abbotsford Police have conducted a “thorough” and “diligent” investigation but have been stymied about what happened to Foulds. Investigators still encourage anyone with information, no matter how small, to come forward.
“This is still an active investigation for APD,” said Const. Ian MacDonald, adding that police plan on issuing another appeal for tips to coincide with the anniversary of Foulds’ disappearance.
“Unfortunately, this file has not generated any recent developments. Most of the evidence and information came in 2009. We certainly hope that changes with this appeal.”
Anyone with information is asked to call Abbotsford Police at 604-859-5225 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
A vigil for Wesley Foulds will take place at Hayward Lake on Saturday March 1 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. For more information about the vigil, visit the Facebook page at http://tinyurl.com/kokq6hr.