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Vanished: The Michael Dunahee Story [Paperback]

Valerie Green
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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In March 1991, Michael Wayne Dunahee was abducted from Victoria, BC, virtually in front of his parents' eyes. Police were alerted within minutes of Michael's disappearance, and a full-scale search of the area was initiated immediately, but with no witnesses to the crime, law enforcement was stymied. The entire city of Victoria quickly mobilized to expand the search for Michael, and Child Find BC and other missing children organizations took up the cause. Soon Michael's face and the story of his abduction were known throughout North America and eventually around the world, as missing child posters were disseminated and details of his abduction were broadcast, including appearances on America's Most Wanted. The Michael Dunahee case initiated the largest missing-child investigation in Canada at the time. The Dunahee family, devastated, nevertheless endured and focused their energy on helping other families undergoing similar tragedy. Working with Child Find BC and Child Find Canada, and supporting initiative such as the AMBER Alert system and the missing persons DNA database, have given them the strength to carry on and rebuild their lives. They threw their support behind annual fundraising and awareness raising events such as the annual Keep the Hope Alive fun run and the Tournament of Hope, with proceeds from both going to support the work of Child Find BC. In spite of nearly 22 years without answers as to what happened to Michael, they still maintain hope that he will one day be returned safely to them; and that steadfast belief has been an inspiration for families of missing children everywhere. Vanished includes an extensive appendices with details on technological advances in finding missing children, tips on preventing child abduction and exploitation, what to do when a child goes missing or a missing child is seen, as well as complete list of Child Find offices in Canada. Part of the proceeds from the sale of this book are being donated to Child Find BC.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Useful Update Full of Hope and Purpose April 9 2013
By Ian Gordon Malcomson HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Local author Valerie Green has written this very important little book for all the right reasons: to draw attention to a worthy cause and keep alive the memory of a precious life lost all these years but, hopefully, returning to his family one day very soon. Green does a very capable job of recapturing that awful moment back in March, 1991, when Crystal and Bruce Dunahee's young son, Michael, was snatched from the playground of a Victoria elementary school. While the details are well known to most of us who have followed the story over the years, the author retells these poignant events from the parents' perspective so well, in fact, that I, as a parent and grandparent also, had no problem appreciating the depth of their loss. As you get into the chapters dealing with the follow-up to the initial tragedy, we are introduced to a remarkable couple who are not only tirelessly committed to finding their son alive but also key players in the Child Find BC movement to protect our children against experiencing Michael's fate. Their secret to surviving this tragedy, the Dunahees will likely tell you, is reaching out for support from the community at large. This book reviews how a lot of that support has personally helped the Dunahee family move forward in their efforts to make sense of this terrible mystery that, to date, has yet to reveal any case-breaking clue. What they have discovered is that their particular tragedy is shared by thousands of other parents the world over who are actively looking for missing children, and that makes their cause a truly heroic one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More Bookish Thoughts... Dec 13 2012
By Reader Writer Runner TOP 50 REVIEWER
March 24, 1991 began as an ordinary Sunday in the Dunahee household. Bruce and Crystal packed up their children, baby Caitlin and four-year-old Michael, and drove to an elementary school where Crystal was to play a round of touch football. When they arrived, Michael headed towards the playground and, within the time it took for Bruce to put Caitlin in her stroller, the preschooler had vanished. Twenty-two years later, his disappearance remains a mystery.

Michael’s presumed child-stranger abduction, the first of its kind in Victoria, ignited a media frenzy but "Vanished: The Michael Dunahee Story" is the first authorized book on the subject. In it, journalist Valerie Green draws from interviews with family, friends and the Victoria police to tell of the family’s struggles since Michael went missing, the media challenges and the impact on Caitlin, who grew up in the wake of the abduction. It reads as a harrowing chronicle of an incredible case: no body, no crime scene, no evidence, just a family's unwavering hope that someone out there knows something, that one day they'll receive answers to their endless questions.

Since 1991, child services agencies have become more interconnected and Crystal Dunahee has received the Order of British Columbia for her work as president of Child Find B.C. and Child Find Canada. Half of the proceeds of the book's sales go to Child Find B.C., just one of many reasons to pick up a copy.
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