BY JOHN COLEBOURN, THE PROVINCE MAY 30, 2013
Candace Shpeley, who disappeared March 31, 2007, would turn 30 on Friday. Her father Barry hopes someone will come forward with information about her disappearance.
Photograph by: TBA, PROVINCE
On a day he should be celebrating the birthday of his daughter Candace, Barry Shpeley will instead be updating the media on her disappearance.
That media briefing scheduled for Friday morning in Abbotsford will be quick, he points out, because there is little to report in the case that has gone very cold.
The update will mark Candace’s 30th birthday. She went missing on March 31, 2007, and left behind two young daughters and a son.
“Friday will be her birthday,” said Barry who doubts his daughter would have abandoned her three children.” She is still missing.”
He feels it took police too long to move on his initial report that she was missing. Since then he has talked with at least four investigators, and he feels the case has been shuffled off to the side.
“My daughter’s case has been mishandled from Day 1,” he says.
“We might have had better luck if the police had moved faster on the initial missing person’s report on my daughter,” he said Thursday.
“I am fed up I have had enough.”
A short time after the single mother disappeared, it was discovered she had been helping drive around Abbotsford a former prison inmate by the name of Darryl Cole. “She was giving him rides,” said Barry. “I think someone she knew was saying ‘Can you help him out.’ ”
Barry also believes his daughter was not using drugs. “I asked her right to her face and she said no — and you can do a drug test on me anytime.”
After his daughter went missing, Barry points out a full search of her home was done. “There was no drug paraphernalia anywhere,” he said.
Cole, 44, was later linked to a December 2007 marijuana grow rip, and was convicted of beating Michael Gerald Larson to death with a baseball bat during the robbery.
He was sentenced to 13½ years in prison. But any information he had on Candace was lost after he was found dead in his cell in the maximum security Kent Institution. Foul play was not suspected.
Barry attended Cole’s sentencing hearing in the manslaughter case, but there was nothing further at the time to link him to the disappearance of Candace.
Sgt. Jennifer Pound, spokeswoman for the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team, said Thursday that investigators continue to work on the Shpeley case, but there is nothing new to report.
“It is still definitely an active file,” she said. “There’s still persons of interest.”
Pound said that Cole may have taken some vital information on Candace to his grave when he died. ”I know one of those persons of interest was Cole,” she said. “That poses a problem because he is deceased.”
On the day Candace went missing, she had lunch with her brother at an A & W restaurant in downtown Chilliwack.
She visited friends in Surrey that evening, and Cole, it is believed might have been among them. That night, RCMP ran the licence plate of her car twice while it was parked outside a suspected drug house. But Candace’s father said it is not clear known whether Candace was at that residence, and he thinks someone may have taken her car.
She 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.
Barry is hoping some new lead or clue comes from the Friday news conference. “Someone knows what happened,” he said.
Anyone with information on the missing mom is asked to call IHIT at 1-877-551-4448.
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