That’s the message the Williams Lake RCMP and the family of Gerald Supernault have for witnesses holding critical information surrounding his murder and those responsible for his death more than 10 years ago.
“No matter how much healing I do and how much good I do, there’s always that wonder in my head that these people involved are still walking around and possibly hurting others,” said Gerald’s younger brother, Lennard Supernault.
Though it’s been a decade now, it’s obvious when talking to Lennard and his sister Frances this week they still carry the sharp pain of losing their brother, then 37, and having to live with the fact that the crime has gone unsolved in their small community of Sugar Cane all these years.
“It’s time to put this to rest, not only for our family but also for the community and for those involved. It is a heavy burden to carry.”
Gerald was born and raised at Sugar Cane, just south of Williams Lake. His siblings recall being jealous of his natural athletic ability and remember fondly his carefree spirit running through meadows as a child.
In the years leading up to his death, Gerald’s life had taken a dark turn in his struggle with alcohol, but he was still a valued member of the community and to his family, and split his time between the First Nations community of Toosey, where he lived with his partner Sadie Garland and her children, and Sugar Cane, where his family still lives on Moose Drive.
“He was known to disappear at times. He liked to take off and visit with his friends so it wasn’t unusual for him to be missing for two or three days,” said Lennard.
Police and the family believe Gerald was last seen Aug. 7 or 8. Frances and her father were on a trip to the Yukon but hurried back when they learned of his disappearance.
Searches were conducted out west and around the community of Sugar Cane, but it wasn’t until someone was cleaning up the long grass along the forest on the south end of Sugar Cane that Gerald’s body was discovered Oct. 5, 2008.
Lennard and Frances recall rushing to meet their mother, Virginia Gilbert, near the scene where police were investigating the discovery of the body, along a wooded area just off a trail Gerald used to walk to his family’s home.
“I held onto [my mom], I was squeezing her so hard because she was trying to go, she wanted to go, she kept saying, ‘my baby, my baby,’ I had to keep telling her the police need to do things over there and we need to wait and stay here until they ask us to go over,” Frances remembered Wednesday, as the family prepares for Crimestoppers to air the Gerald Supernault unsolved murder case on Global TV Saturday.
“I had wrestled with whether or not I could go over [and see him] but I also really strongly felt that if I did not go and make sure that it was him, identify him, that I would always be searching. It was one of the hardest things … it was really, really difficult. As soon as we were walking up around into the area where he was found I could see his boots, I could see his pants and then I saw the rest of him … I knew it was him.”
The family buried Gerald Thanksgiving weekend, 2008.
Lennard believes he and his family live among those who are responsible for his brother’s death, which makes the fact that it has gone unsolved for so long difficult.
“For me, I need closure. There’s a huge gap left open inside of me with my brother’s death that needs to be closed so I can fully get on with the rest of my life. It’s not even so much about finding these people and seeing them go to jail for the crime, it’s so I can close that chapter of my life. My goal right now is to be able to face these people or this person, whoever was involved, in court to let them know what they did. I want to be able to look at these people and tell them how much they hurt us but also be able to say that I’m ready to forgive them for what they did. I am a better person today because of what happened, as much as it hurt.”
Williams Lake RCMP Cpl. Ken Davies also feels now is the time for witnesses to come forward.
“We want to hold the person or persons responsible for Gerald’s murder accountable for their actions,” he said.
“The family and the community deserve that. Time has passed and we want to refresh in everyone’s memory what happened.”
WLIB Chief Willie Sellars is also urging witnesses to come forward.
“Unsolved cases are very difficult for the families involved. I know this family is still grieving. We want to see justice and closure for them,” Sellars said, describing Gerald as a good person who was valued in the community.
“I hope the witnesses will be brave enough to step forward with what they know.”
If you have information regarding the disappearance of Gerald Supernault, you are urged to contact Williams Lake RCMP Cpl. Ken Davies at 250-392-6211 or BC Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477.