It was Oct. 22, 2013 when Dean Kelly Morrison was last seen in the Merritt area.
The 44-year-old father of three disappeared that day, one decade ago, after leaving his workplace at Stump Lake Ranch, where he was contracting as a painter.
To this day, Morrison’s disappearance remains a mystery to his family, despite extensive search efforts.
“Not a day goes by that I don’t think of my missing son,” Morrison’s mother, Elizabeth Faber, told the Herald. She called him a loving and devoted father to Ani, Edie and Paz.
Morrison had been working at the ranch for about three weeks prior to his disappearance, living in a trailer on the property. He and his wife had recently separated. In a previous interview with the Herald in 2015, Faber said that her son’s boss noticed he was uncharacteristically lethargic that day, causing him to be let go from his job.
When his truck wouldn’t start, he called a tow truck. But by the time it arrived around three hours later, Morrison was nowhere to be seen. He was reported missing by his sister on Oct. 28.
A series of air and ground searches have been conducted in the years since, including one as recent as Oct. 2019, to no avail.
There remains no concrete evidence as to why Morrison went missing. His sister had recently given him a bottle of Ativan pills to cope with personal stress, including the recent separation, though Faber does not believe that her son would have vanished willingly.
When she had previously suggested that he leave town, Faber to the Herald that he replied, ‘mom, I could never leave my kids.”
Those were the last words she heard from him.
A decade later, Morrison’s children reminisce about some of the good times they had with their father. Ani remembers how he would have them laughing with his made-up games, the cooking that would have the kitchen filled with delicious aromas, and the family hikes.
“He always made everything entertaining and special for us.”
Edie recalls her father helping her get started in archery, buying her her first bow and arrows.
“He would sit outside with me for hours while I practiced hitting the target he made for me. Once when I lost my arrows in our neighbours yard, he lifted me over the fence to retrieve them. I laughed and laughed! He was so much fun to be with.”
As for Paz, he has been working to create a memorial for his father to raise among the hills of Merritt, commemorating the ten years.
“What dad has given me is the curiosity to challenge the status quo, the will to write a new direction, and the inspiration to seek flavours, art, and the soul of the world.”
Anyone with any information regarding Morrison’s disappearance is asked to contact Staff Sgt. Sascha Fesenko of the Kamloops RCMP at 250-314-1800.