Investigation continues into 1989 disappearance of Prince George family – Vancouver Sun

Investigation continues into 1989 disappearance of Prince George family - Vancouver Sun
Family missing 30 years – BC News
“For four persons, including two children, to go missing is very unusual and in fact may never have happened in Canada before or since.”

PRINCE GEORGE, B.C.: SEPT. 10, 2019 – The Jack family (from left to right: Ronald, Doreen, Ryan and Russell) of Prince George, B.C. [PNG Merlin Archive] HANDOUT / PRINCE GEORGE RCMP / PNG

Tragic and haunting memory: B.C. family has been missing for 30 years

It was the promise of work that prompted Ronald and Doreen Jack to pack up their belongings and their family, climb into a truck with an unknown man and leave their Prince George home in 1989.

"I want to thank everyone who helped with the search for their support, even though there was nothing found," said Marlene Jack, Doreens sister and the spokesperson for the family, in a news release. "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."

On Tuesday, Prince George RCMP renewed their call for information, as the investigation into the missing Jack family continues.

“I would like to ask from the bottom of my heart that everyone with information come forward to police,” said Marlene Jack, sister of Doreen, in a statement.

Most recently, RCMP searched a property on the Saikuz First Nation, south of Vanderhoof, B.C., with support of chief and council. On Aug. 28, 29 and 30 of this year, investigators used ground-penetrating radar and heavy equipment to search the area but found no evidence of the Jack family. 

PRINCE GEORGE, B.C.: SEPT. 10, 2019 – The Jack family (from left to right: Ronald, Doreen, Ryan and Russell) of Prince George, B.C. PRINCE GEORGE RCMP / HANDOUT

He and his partner were offered jobs at a logging camp, believed to be near Clucluz Lake and because they didnt own a vehicle, an unknown man offered to drive them to the job. He followed Ronnie back to his house after talking to him at the pub and waited while the family of four packed. 

According to investigators, it’s believed Ronald, also known as Ronnie, spoke to a man at a neighbourhood pub the evening of Aug. 1, 1989 about securing work for himself and Doreen. The man offered the couple jobs at a logging ranch, thought to be located near Clucluz Lake, about 40 kilometres west of Prince George.

"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."

As the couple did not have a vehicle, the man offered to drive the Jack family to the ranch that evening. The man went with Ronnie to the Jack family home, about four blocks from the pub, and waited while the couple packed their belongings and gathered their two sons.

Then, at around 1:30 a.m., the Jack family left with the unknown man, who is described as white, aged 35 to 40 years old at the time. Hes approximately 6 to 66" tall. He could have been 200 to 275 pounds and the time and had red brown hair with a full beard. 

While packing, Ronnie called his brother in Southbank and his parents in Burns Lake. Around 1:30 a.m., the group piled into a dark four-wheel drive pickup truck and set off.

Even 30 years later, Prince George RCMP say the investigation is still active and anyone with information about the Jack family or who is responsible for their disappearance is asked to contact Mounties at 250-561-3300.  

The family was set to return in 10 days but they never appeared and were reported missing on Aug. 25, 1989.

Ronnie Jack had called his mother in the Burns Lake, B.C. area and shortly after, its believed he had his partner Doreen and their two young children left their home with an unknown man in a dark pick-up truck.

The man who drove off with the Jack family is described as a white man, about 35 to 40 years old, standing 6-foot to 6-foot-6 and weighing about 200 to 275 pounds. He had reddish-brown hair with a full  beard.

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Over the years, police have identified several sites where the bodies of the Jack family may have been buried. The most recent excavation took place Aug. 28, 29 and 30 last month on a section of property on the Saik’uz First Nation, south of Vanderhoof, but no signs of the family was found.

Doreen’s sister Marlene also spoke during a panel on missing and murdered indigenous women and girls in 2017, sharing details about her family’s upbringing and leading up to Doreen’s disappearance. Marlene spoke about emotional and sexual abuse the sisters had suffered as children and as adults.

“That one time Doreen and I were talking, we were drinking at a rodeo grounds just outside of Burns Lake, and me and Doreen were sitting there talking, bonding as sisters, and we were laughing away, and then all of a sudden I got punched across the – like just punched out,” said Marlene.

“I looked up and then I saw Ronnie beating up on Doreen. And then Doreen she wasn’t even crying, or screaming, or nothing, she was just protecting herself.”

Police say hundreds of interviews have been conducted and thousands of documents were collected in the three decades since the family vanished, but they have not been able to identify the man who drove the pickup.

The pub where Ronald first made contact with the unknown man was shut down about five years ago, but the adjacent First Litre Cold Beer Store still stands.

Police say the latest probe on the Saikuz First Nation near Vanderhoof wrapped up at the end of August with no evidence found of Ronnie and Doreen Jack or their nine- and four-year-old sons, Russell and Ryan.

An employee at the beer store, who asked not to be named, told Postmedia the staff who would’ve been around at the time of the 1989 disappearance have all moved on – but the spectre of the family’s disappearance remains.

“I would’ve been 10 years old when they disappeared,” said the employee, who said she remembers hearing about the family’s disappearance as a child.

Investigative documents about the Jack family’s disappearance have since grown to fill more than 60 banker boxes, as police continue their efforts to locate the family.

“The disappearance of the Jack family over 30 years ago is a tragic and haunting memory in our community,” read a statement issued by Cpl. Craig Douglass.

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“For four persons, including two children, to go missing is very unusual and in fact may never have happened in Canada before or since.”

Police are asking anyone with information about the Jack family’s disappearance or their whereabouts to contact investigators at 250-561-3300.

Officers and civilian consultants used ground-penetrating radar and heavy equipment to search several properties around the Prince George and Vanderhoof areas.

Thirty years have gone by, and there are still no answers in the disappearance of a Prince George family.

The family was last heard from on Aug. 2, 1989, when Ronnie Jack called his mother in Burns Lake to say he and Doreen had been offered jobs at a logging camp.

RCMP say the disappearance of the Jack family is a tragic and haunting memory in the community. 

Family spokeswoman Marlene Jack says despite the disappointing results, theyre thankful to those involved in the renewed effort to bring the family home.

Ronald and Doreen Jack along with children Russell, 9, and Ryan, 4, were last heard from on Aug. 2, 1989, when Ronald called his mother in the Burns Lake area. 

It is believed shortly after that phone call, the family departed their home on Strathcona Avenue with an unknown male in a dark coloured 4×4 pickup. 

Police say several properties were identified and searched as possible burial sites for the family, all without success. 

Last month, members of the Prince George RCMP Serious Crime Unit searched a property on the Saik'uz First Nation, south of Vanderhoof. 

"I want to thank everyone who helped with the search for their support, even though there was nothing found," says 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."

Anyone with information is asked to contact Prince George RCMP at 250-561-3300 or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or www.pgcrimestoppers.bc.ca.