Man resembling Michael Dunahee asked for DNA sample
Published Wednesday, July 24, 2013 5:37PM PDT
Last Updated Thursday, July 25, 2013 7:49AM PDT
Police are collecting a blood sample from a Surrey man who bears an uncanny resemblance to an age-enhanced rendering of what missing person Michael Dunahee might look like today.
Dunahee vanished from the playground of Blanshard Elementary School in Victoria on March 24, 1991, when he was just four years old. The disappearance sparked one of the biggest investigations in Canadian history, and resulted in at least 11,000 tips.
On Wednesday, the Victoria Police Department confirmed it recently received a new tip about an unnamed Metro Vancouver resident who looks strikingly similar to a computer rendering of Dunahee created by the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children.
Const. Mike Russell said ordering DNA testing is part of the department’s standard procedure, and authorities are not confident that the decades-old open investigation is nearing a close.
“We don’t believe that he is Michael,” Russell told CTV News. “But we do owe it to [Dunahee’s parents] Crystal and Bruce and everybody in B.C. and across Canada who’s followed this case over the last 20 years to just go that extra mile and make sure.”
Police have released few details about why they’re skeptical, but said it involves information investigators have gathered about the unidentified lookalike’s family background.
The Surrey man recently shared his story on an online Canucks fan forum, and the blog VanCity Buzz posted his picture Wednesday to highlight the facial similarities between him and Dunahee.
Russell said this case is just one of many instances when police have requested DNA evidence from an individual to confirm he’s not Dunahee.
Anyone with possible information about the missing man’s whereabouts can share it at the Missing Kids website.