"In 1987, 15-year-old Geoff Dowding told his dad that he planned to hitchhike from their home in Maidstone to B.C. to visit family at Williams Lake. Geoff's birth mother had passed away when he was young, and there was often friction between him and his new stepmother. Chris knew his son had the same independent, free-spirited qualities as his old man, and he reluctantly agreed to allow his son to set out on his own, a decision he would come to regret for the rest of his life. Chris could never had predicted that when he dropped his son off by the highway that summer day, he would be saying his final farewell.On September 22, 1987, a couple walking a dog found human remains in the heavily wooded Knox Mountain Park in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. Kelowna police worked up dental charts and a fingerprint analysis, but were unable to get a positive identification.
'I made the sad mistake of letting him go like I did. I hitchhiked across Canada in my early years, and I figured that's what he was doing, Chris said. 'He was like his dad, kind of a young hippie at heart. Good attitude and really easy going.'
Geoff made it to Williams Lake, and after a brief stay, left for the Okanagan. Months passed, and although he often wondered, Chris assumed Geoff had simply moved on with his life, and never looked back so he never filed a missing persons report. But he always half-expected the phone to ring one day."
According to Porchlight Canada:
The body was badly decomposed and it is believed that it had been there, for approximately two to six months. The human remains were subsequently recovered by police investigators and an autopsy was performed. It was determined that the body was that of a caucasian male, between the ages of 16 and 20 years, with medium length light brown hair. The height of the deceased is estimated to be between 179cm and 180 cm. A unique characteristic of note is the deviation of the nasal septum towards the left (slight bend in the nose). The deceased was in good dental health and dental charts are available.Four years passed and when Chris Dowding still hadn't had any contact with his son, he recruited the help of Maidstone and Onion Lake RCMP in trying to locate him. For years, no one could find so much as a trace.
Then in 2000, the police published a facial reconstruction of the body, which eventually led to an ID by local police. In 2002, it was confirmed through DNA testing that the remains belonged to Geoffrey John Dowding.
The circumstances surrounding his death are suspicious.
"I wake up every morning and see my son's picture, and I wonder who the hell would do that to a 15-year-old kid," Chris Dowding told the Merdian Booster. "Somebody's got to live with it and somebody's got to pay for it."
If you have any information, please contact Detective Roy Fitzpatrick, Kelowna RCMP at 250-470-0620.
Staff article. (2005.) Father seeking answers to son's murder. Meridian Booster. Retrieved May 28, 2012 from http://www.meridianbooster.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=2427006&archive=true
Porchlight Canada. Retrieved May 28, 2012 from http://s13.invisionfree.com/PorchlightCanada/ar/t1349.htm