Elijah Mack has been leading the search efforts to try and find his brother, Miguel Mack, nearly four weeks ago in Merritt, B.C.
“We believe in the power of medicine and we believe in the power of prayer and we believe that his spirit lives with us all the time no matter what is going on,” Mack said.
“We keep some of his stuff up here to keep his spirit alive,” pointing to a wall where some of his 24-year-old brother’s clothing hangs.
Miguel was last seen on Feb. 27, and reported missing on March 3.
Friends and family created the Facebook page Searching for Miguel Mack, which has more than 1,600 followers, to help broaden the search.
“We’ve got friends on the island keeping an eye out — Williams Lake, Prince George, friends in the Downtown Eastside, saying, ‘Hey we’re going to walk the streets today, we have your brother in mind,'” Elijah said.
They’ve searched over 500 square kilometres themselves, he added, checking every back road in Merritt down to Hope and up to Kamloops.
“In the event the police are able to grant a search and rescue team to come in and help, we have all the contact information for everyone who has checked in and out so we can hit the ground running.”
On Thursday, RCMP announced the major crimes unit had been called in to investigate Miguel’s disappearance, which is now being considered suspicious and “involves criminality.”
The police-led search has included police dog services, air services, and forensic identification specialists.
Elijah said he’s not entirely sure what “suspicious” and” involves criminality” means in this context.
“First thing that comes to mind is maybe he was caught with the wrong crowd (at the) wrong time and someone was mad, we just don’t know,” he said.
“There’s just so much uncertainty right now.”
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Miguel has disappeared for a day or two before, Elijah said, but he would always come back to check in on his family and let them know he was OK.
“(This time) was way out of character for him … It really came out of nowhere because he has been clean and sober for some time now and he was really looking forward to his new baby coming as well,” Elijah said. “It really sideswiped all of us.”
Miguel has a three-year-old son and daughter on the way. He loves slow-pitch and being involved in his community, Elijah added.
“We keep hearing stories that he’s hiding. We keep hearing stories that he’s disappeared,” Elijah said.
“The rumours get out so fast, especially in a small town. We have no concrete evidence pointing in (any) direction so we still remain hopeful and we keep asking for help and for people to show up and just put fliers up and report everything they can.
“It’s the most terrible thing (we’ve) ever been through. We want him back. We want someone to come up and say they know something, that’s all we ask for.”
Miguel was last seen wearing a burgundy hoodie, dark pants and a toque. He is described as First Nations, 5’10,” with black hair and brown eyes.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the police tip line at 1-877-987-8477.