Family increases reward, renews plea to find missing man
Published Wednesday, July 20, 2011 8:53PM PDT Last Updated Saturday, May 19, 2012 2:26AM PDT
Two years after the disappearance of Yashpal Mehya, his family has renewed pleas for information and increased their offer of a reward to find the man that an extensive search and rescue mission has failed to locate.
The Surrey, B.C. family is offering $35,000 for a lead to his whereabouts, up from $25,000, in a hope to renew interest to find the husband and father-of-two.
Brother-in-law Bhagwant Sandi read from a statement Wednesday at a press conference appealing to the public to help while Mehya's wife, Meetu, sat with her head down and wiped tears from her eyes.
"We need some sort of closure to this," Sandi said. "The family needs to move on.
"It's very hard. Every time I see the phone rings, the kids and Meetu think it's him. Every time a door bell [rings], we think it's him – that he's back."
Police say the case is a true mystery: Mehya had no enemies, conflicts or issues with anyone.
There was no "indication for any criminality at all," Surrey RCMP Cpl. Drew Grainger said.
On July 14, 2009, Mehya was travelling from Surrey to Clinton, B.C., like he had many times before to attend the gas station that he co-owned.
He made two stops after leaving his son, who helped him load up the family car. First he went to Costco in Abbotsford to buy supplies for his business. Then he went to the Staples store in Chilliwack, where he was last seen on a surveillance camera.
There has been no sign of him other than a possible sighting of the vehicle by a trucker on Highway 1.
His family searched the highway area and put up posters along the way from Abbotsford and Clinton to find the man police called in 2009 a "high-risk missing person…someone that has just gone off the face of the map."
According to the Surrey RCMP, searches have been conducted by highway, in the air, under sea, using sonar, by rafting companies, railway police, auto wreckers, and through ICBC checks, yet nothing of investigative value has been found in the two years since Mehya's disappearance.
Mehya was driving a 2004 Mazda MPV bearing B.C. licence plate 494 KVK. At the time of his disappearance he was wearing a green and white American Eagle long sleeve polo shirt and brown pants.
He is described as a 43-year-old male, South Asian ethnicity, 5-7 to 5-8 tall, 180 to 185 lbs, with short black hair, brown eyes, and a black mustache.
Anyone with any information as to his whereabouts are asked to call the Surrey RCMP's Missing Person Unit at 604-599-0502.