Mother of missing Manitoba man appeals for help to continue search

The mother of a missing Manitoba man is appealing for help to continue search efforts in the hopes of bringing her son home safe.

Kelly Lavalee said the last time she saw her son Dwayne Lavalee, 21, was Sept. 18. She said he was going away for a few days with a friend, but never came home.

“I’m trying to keep it together for my family’s sake. We really do miss him and we want him to come home,” said Kelly in an interview with CTV News via phone Monday.

Kelly said he loves the outdoors, enjoys spending time with his nephews and described him as outgoing with a good sense of humour.

Kelly said she spoke to Dwayne on Sept. 21, but since then messages have gone unanswered.

“I’m asking him, ‘what’s wrong, this is not like you’,” Kelly said.

RCMP said on Thursday Dwayne’s his vehicle was recovered in an area north of Ste. Rose du Lac on Sept. 26.

“Nothing was broken, the doors were locked,” said Kelly.

“That area was our number one priority at the time, so we did a ground search along with RCMP.”

FAMILY SEARCH FOCUSING ON OUTSKIRTS OF EBB AND FLOW FIRST NATION

Dwayne and his family live in Skownan, about four hours northwest of Winnipeg.

Kelly said volunteer and family search efforts are focusing on the outskirts of Ebb and Flow First Nation, where police said Dwayne was last seen on Sept. 22 around 2 p.m.

Ebb and Flow is almost two hours from Skownan. Kelly said making the trips to the area, driving back and forth has been taxing and costly.

“We do have a lot of support from people,” said Kelly “but donations are getting low.”

Kelly said she’s using donations to fill tanks with gas.

“If you have any donations I’d be more than happy to accept anything from anyone. The searchers need food,” she said.

Kelly said there are a lot of rumours, but she doesn’t know what happened to her son.

“I want to do it, to find my son,” she said.

CHALLENGING SEARCH THROUGH BUSH: BEAR CLAN PATROL

Bear Clan Patrol member Darryl Contois has been closely involved with the search.

He said Sunday between 50 to 70 people, mostly family members helped look for Dwayne in challenging conditions.

“Pretty dense bush, a lot of grass and we’ve been with the weather and the snow. The weather hasn’t been improving,” he said.

Contois said the group is trying their best and the family is going through a hard time.

“We would like to see more searchers, if they have time to help the family, it would be appreciated.”

“I see their breaking point… I see a lot of that first hand,” Contois said.

He said the group did a search around where the vehicle was located, but is focusing mostly around Ebb and Flow First Nation, where Dwayne was last reported seen.

RCMP said Thursday search efforts were made throughout the area by RCMP Search and Rescue and the Office of the Fire Commissioner.

It said extensive ground search efforts are still continuing by family members and community partners, along with aerial searches of the area.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Ste. Rose du Lac RCMP at 204-447-2513 or call Manitoba Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.