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Police search Saik’uz property in relation to Jack family disappearance

The Jack family, who went missing August 2, 1989.
The Jack family, who went missing August 2, 1989.

The disappearance of the Jack family over 30 years ago is a tragic and haunting memory in the community.  For four persons, including two children, to go missing is very unusual and in fact may never have happened in Canada before or since.

Ronald (Ronnie), partner Doreen and children Russell, 9, and Ryan, 4, were last heard from at approximately 1:21 a.m. on Wednesday August 2, 1989 when Ronnie called his mother in the Burns Lake area.  It is believed that shortly after that phone call, the family departed their home on Strathcona Avenue in Prince George with an unknown man in a dark coloured 4×4 pickup.  Although the family was expected to return in 10 days, they have never been seen since.

Throughout the investigation, several properties have been identified and searched as possible burial sites for the Jack family.  All without success.

On Wednesday August 28, Thursday August 29 and Friday August 30, 2019, members of the investigative team from the Prince George RCMP’s Serious Crime Unit, conducted a search on a portion of property on the Saik’uz First Nation, south of Vanderhoof.

The search was conducted with the assistance of expert civilian consultants and included the use of ground penetrating radar and heavy equipment.  No evidence of the Jack family was located.

“I want to thank everyone who helped with the search for their support, even though there was nothing found,” said Marlene Jack, Doreen’s sister and spokesperson for the family.  “I would like to ask from the bottom of my heart that everyone with information come forward to police.  Please help bring our family home.”

The search took place with the support of the Saik’uz chief, council and elders who were on site for much of the three days.

“Our council and community would like to thank the Serious Crime Unit from the Prince George Detachment for working with us to make sure that all leads and avenues were investigated into the disappearance of the Jack family,” said Chief Priscilla Mueller of the Saik’uz First Nation.  “Our community will continue to offer support for those who are affected by this tragedy and will also stay in close contact with Marlene Jack to support her in her search for answers. Our community sends our love and prayers to the Jack family in obtaining closure.”

Summary of investigation

Since the family was reported missing on August 25, 1989, the Prince George RCMP have conducted hundreds of interviews and obtained or created thousands of documents as part of this thorough and exhaustive investigation. 

Investigators believe the following occurred:

  • Ronnie spoke to a man at the First Litre Pub on the evening of Tuesday August 1, 1989;
  • Ronnie and his partner Doreen, were offered jobs at a logging camp or ranch thought to be near Clucluz Lake, approximately 40 kilometres west of Prince George or about half way to Vanderhoof on Highway 16;
  • As Ronnie and Doreen did not own a vehicle, the unknown man offered to drive the Jack family to the camp or ranch. The man accompanied Ronnie back to his residence, about four blocks from the pub and waited while the family packed;
  • Ronnie called his brother in Southbank, B.C. at 11:16 p.m.
  • Approximately two hours later, Ronnie called his parents in Burns Lake at 1:21 a.m. on Wednesday August 2;
  • At approximately 1:30 a.m., the Jack family drove off with the unknown man in a dark coloured four wheel drive pickup truck.

The unknown male has been described as:

  • Caucasian male
  • 35 to 40 years old
  • 183 cm to 198 cm (6` to 6`6`) tall
  • 91 to 125 kg (200 to 275 lbs)
  • Reddish-brown hair with a full beard
  • Wearing a ball cap, red checkered work shirt, faded blue jeans, blue nylon jacket, and work boots with leather fringes over the toes.

This investigation continues to be led by the Prince George RCMP’s Serious Crime Unit and remains active.

Police ask anyone with information about the Jack family, where they are or who is responsible for their disappearance, to contact the Prince George RCMP at 250-561-3300.  To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1(800)222-8477 or online at www.pgcrimestoppers.bc.ca (English only).  You do not have to reveal your identity to Crime Stoppers.  If you provide information that leads to an arrest or the location of the family, you could be eligible for a cash reward.

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