Missing Victoria boy Michael Dunahee focus of new podcast

The case of Michael Dunahee, who disappeared in Victoria in 1991 at the age of four, remains one of B.C.’s most high-profile missing persons cases. It’s now also the focus of a new Frequency Podcast Network series.

“Missing Michael” is produced and hosted by award-winning journalist Laura Palmer. In the past year, Palmer worked closely with the Dunahee family and friends as well as with Victoria Police detectives, past and present.

“It wasn’t until I watched the home video Crystal and Bruce shared, and listened to so many people who loved Michael, that his loss really hit home for me,” Palmer says.

“You are going to hear from people who have never shared their perspectives before; family, friends, and detectives. Michael was only four when he vanished, but he touched so many lives in that short span of time,” she explains.

“I remember when he was born, I went to the hospital and I remember holding him and looking at him and thinking, ‘Oh my God, this is what love means.’ Because before that, you know, I was just existing in life. And he came along. ‘Oh, I get it now. This is the meaning of life holding him.’ And I was just totally deeply in love with him, the first moment I held him,” Michael’s aunt, Karen Dunahee, says.

Michael, who would now be in his 30s, has never been found. He vanished near the former Blanshard School playground on March 24, while out for the day with his family.

Hundreds of volunteers and a number of police agencies helped in the effort to try to find the boy, but no trace of Michael was ever found.

‘Missing Michael’ is the third season of the ‘Island Crime’ podcast series, which focused on unsolved cases on Vancouver Island.

“What’s different about this season of Island Crime is that it focuses on a story that made headlines across Canada and beyond,” explains the Frequency Podcast Network’s Claire Brassard.

“What’s not different, however, is that this story — like the others Laura has told — affects real people who desperately need answers. As with previous seasons, Laura does this with a tremendous amount of compassion and journalistic integrity.

“While Island Crime is a true crime podcast, Missing Michael is truly a story of hope.”

Bruce and Crystal Dunahee still hold out hope their son is alive. Michael’s sister, Caitlin, was only six months old when her brother vanished. But she too believes her big brother could still be found alive.

“I hope he’s having an amazing life with whoever took him. I hope he was raised by a family that couldn’t have children and just smothered him with love,” Caitlin says.

If you have information about the disappearance of Michael Dunahee, please go to Michaeldunahee.ca and click on the report a tip button, which will direct you to Victoria Police.

‘Missing Michael’ is a 10-part podcast series for Rogers Frequency Network. The new trailer has just debuted this week.

You can listen to this series and other Island Crime episodes on all podcast platforms. The first full episode drops on Jan. 18.

Rogers is the parent company of this station and the Frequency Podcast Network.

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