Emotional plea by family of missing Comox Valley man

The family of a missing Comox Valley man has put out a plea for any information relating to the disappearance of 24-year-old Willem Rennie.

Hannah Rennie - Willem's sister - holds a photo Wednesday afternoon at the Comox Valley RCMP detachment of her missing brother with a public plea for any information of his whereabouts.

The family of a missing Comox Valley man has put out an emotional plea for any information relating to the disappearance of 24-year-old Willem Rennie.

On Wednesday, Hannah Rennie, Willem’s sister, told media while holding back tears their family is extremely worried about her brother’s disappearance.

“We need to know that you are safe and your son really misses you and we love you so much. We don’t need to know where you are, we just need to know that you’re safe. So please just call us. Please.”

Earlier this week, Comox Valley RCMP asked for the public’s assistance in locating Rennie, who was last seen April 19 in the Courtenay area.

His vehicle was located April 22 at the Courtenay Exhibition Grounds on Headquarters Road and Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue efforts did not turn up any indication of his whereabouts.

Hannah explained it is not uncommon for her brother to go away for a few days at a time, but he has always remained in contact with a friend or family member.

“(He has) never disappeared without contact. Even for a few days he might go away, but somebody knows where he is. A friend would know where he is. To leave his truck at the fairgrounds is very out of character – it doesn’t make sense so that’s why we’re very concerned about it.”

Willem was supposed to meet a friend at the fairgrounds last Tuesday (April 19), but the friend was late and when she got there, he wasn’t there, said Hannah.

She added her brother has a one-year-old son who he cares for on weekends, and the family became concerned when he didn’t return last Friday.

“He was reported missing Saturday morning. We know that he goes away days at a time. We waited until Friday night because that’s when he would normally pick up his son and have him for the weekend and he didn’t show up. The next morning, we knew something’s off, something doesn’t feel right.”

Working on and off as a labourer, Willem left for three days the weekend prior to his disappearance to work up-Island, but family members knew of his location. Hannah noted he isn’t active on social media, and while he does carry a cellphone, it’s prepaid – not a smartphone – and it isn’t always operational.

She described him as a person who loves the outdoors, particularly fishing, camping, being by rivers, mountains and lakes, and often wears sunglasses and a hat.

“And a feature that really stands out on him is his smile – he has a really beautiful smile.”

Comox Valley RCMP Const. Tammy Douglas added Comox Valley Search and Rescue conducted a weekend search around the fairgrounds and a variety of locations familiar to Willem. The RCMP Police Dog Section was also involved in the search.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of Willem Rennie, contact the Comox Valley RCMP at 250-338-1321, or if you wish to remain anonymous, call Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

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