An Alberta man is being honoured one year after going missing at a British Columbia resort.
Ryan Shtuka was last seen on Feb. 17, 2018, leaving a house party on Burfield Drive at Sun Peaks Ski Resort near Kamloops, B.C.
“We go up there and are told this news and have to process this news, but we don’t get to curl up and we don’t get to cry and we don’t get to stay in the state of shock. We actually have to put ourselves into action,” Ryan’s mother Heather Shtuka said.
The 20-year-old had moved to B.C. a few months earlier to work at the ski resort.
It is believed that the Beaumont, Alta., native had been heading home for the night when he left the party. His family has said it is unclear what state of mind he was in or how intoxicated he may have been.
Despite the efforts of authorities, family, friends and strangers, Shtuka has not been found.
“I think the first time we left the mountain, we realized we aren’t going to be the ones to find him. We’re relying on the experts,” Ryan’s father Scott Shtuka said.
This weekend, loved ones are gathering in B.C. to honour Shtuka. His parents said this weekend will not be about searching for their son, but rather about celebrating his memory and thanking strangers who have rallied behind the family and spent countless hours searching for any sign of the 20-year-old.
“We didn’t go up just as grieving parents, because we’re not. We have this ambiguous loss, so we can’t quite hope and we can’t quite grieve. We’re in this netherland and there’s no way of knowing when that will ever change for us,” Heather Shtuka said.
“We are not like other parents that can grieve something and then continue on with a journey, however that may look for them.”
Shtuka’s parents said not knowing what happened to their son has not allowed them to have peace.
“I think the biggest fears for any parent of a missing loved one is that eventually people will go away and your loved one will be forgotten,” Heather Shtuka said.
There is a memorial ski and snowboard planned, as well as a candlelight vigil.
Watch below: Rescue dogs help look for missing man Ryan Shtuka
— With files from Global News’ Sarah Kraus