The father of an Abbotsford woman who has been missing since 2007 has offered a $25,000 cash award for any information that leads to an arrest and a conviction.
Barry Shpeley held a press conference on Tuesday adjacent to the Abbotsford Police Department on what would have been his daughter Candace’s 33rd birthday.
“Happy Birthday” balloons in memory of Candace were placed around the area where Shpeley held the media briefing.
He pulled two stacks of cash – wrapped with rubber bands – from a bag and slammed them on the table in front of him.
Shpeley said he urges anyone to come forward who has information about who is responsible for his daughter’s disappearance.
“This money, if you can get them arrested and convicted, is yours,” he said.
Shpeley said he can’t rest until he finds out the truth about Candace’s disappearance.
“For me, it’s a nightmare. I’m always trying to find out what happened to my daughter.”
Candace (in photo), a single mom of three children, was 23 at the time she went missing on March 31, 2007.
On that day, she had lunch with her brother at an A & W restaurant in downtown Chilliwack. She visited friends in Surrey that evening, and was scheduled to pick up her kids the following day, but never arrived.
Her green 1995 Pontiac Grand Am was found nine days later in the area of Renfrew Street and 17th Avenue in Vancouver. Police held the vehicle until late 2011 while they collected forensic evidence, but that did not lead to any new information.
A Surrey man, Darryl Cole, who was a “person of interest” in the case died in prison in July 2011 while serving a sentence for manslaughter. He was one of the last people Candace was with before she disappeared and may have been the last person to see her.
Cole had been convicted of beating a man to death with a baseball bat during a marijuana grow rip in Surrey in December 2007, and was sentenced to 13.5 years in prison.
Shpeley said he believes his daughter was murdered and that someone has conclusive information that either Cole killed her or someone else did.
“She would not have left her children (now ages 11, 14 and 15) – that was never her style. She would never walk way,” Shpeley said.
He is critical of investigators, saying they haven’t done enough to get answers.
“Basically, my daughter’s case has been shoved to the side. I’m a little bit upset with that,” Shpeley said.
The case remains active with the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team. IHIT spokesperson Sgt. Jennifer Pound said police believe that Cole had information about Candace’s disappearance, but his death complicated matters.
“This poses a problem with the evidence and information collection phase of the investigation. However, the investigation remains active and a full review was conducted by IHIT in December 2014.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact IHIT at 1-877-551-4448 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.