Chantal Desruisseaux says all she has are questions.
Since her son Tyler Walton went missing from Williams Lake two years ago she’s been trying to find answers to the most pressing of those questions — his whereabouts.
Walton was last seen Nov. 9, 2009 at approximately 7 p.m. In media reports at the time he was described as 25 years old, in good physical shape, 5’11” tall and weighing 150 pounds. He wore his hair at medium length with a full beard.
He was further described as an “outgoing person” whose disappearance was considered “uncharacteristic.”
Since then, says Desruisseaux, there’s been false leads and dead ends. In the last year she says “it feels like nothing has happened.”
Her motivation in speaking with the Tribune is to remind the community that he’s still missing and that he’s loved by family and friends.
She puts up fresh posters of her son regularly; the last time was during the Stampede when she thought there would be an influx of people in town for the event. She drives his car with a missing poster of her son taped to the back window.
“There’s no leads. Alive or dead, I still don’t know,” Desruisseaux says.
“I’m still hoping he’s alive but why would he disappear without saying anything to anybody? The family and the people close to him don’t understand. It’s all questions. There’s no where to put your head or your heart at.”
Desruisseaux’s last communication with her son was on Nov. 8, 2009 when he sent her a message saying he loved her.
She says he had bought her a birthday card and was shopping for furniture and other items for his home.
“That’s not the behaviour of someone who would be packing up to go would be doing.”
Desruisseaux says she was well aware of Walton’s desire to be a “free man on the land.” She describes that as “living off the grid” and having nothing to do with government.
Desruisseaux told him he was welcome to his life and asked that he let her know should he decide to live that lifestyle.
She says the last year has brought hardships to the family that she would like to share with her son.
“There is no peace of mind. There are always questions, questions, questions. You get better days and bad days and I just never know what will trigger me; it could be a song, a smell, hearing someone’s laughter.”
The family was contacted by the RCMP in August when human remains were discovered in a heavily wooded area outside the city limits.
Desruisseaux doubts the remains are that of Walton and the RCMP is still waiting on a positive identification.
“We’re not closing the file on him for sure,” said RCMP media liaison officer Sgt. Rick LeBeuf of the Walton file. “There is no indication that the person that we found is him.”
LeBeuf says the RCMP acts on tips when they come in. It undertook a review of Walton’s file a year ago that didn’t generate any “concrete” leads and he expects that may occur again sometime soon.
“It’s not been anything fantastic as far as leads,” he says.
In the meantime Desruisseaux wants people to remember Walton and encourages anyone who recalls anything about the case to come forward and share.
“You never know what will click the whole picture together.”