'We're living a nightmare'
More than a year has passed and still the heartache hasn’t gotten any easier for a mother who misses her son every minute of every day
Chris Metallic has been missing for more than a year.
SACKVILLE, N.B. – More than a year has passed and still the heartache hasn’t gotten any easier for a mother who misses her son every minute of every day and lives with the burden of not knowing what happened to him.
“We are living a nightmare,” says Mandy Metallic, whose 20-year-old son Chris disappeared last November, just a month before Christmas, after leaving a house party in downtown Sackville at around 1:30 a.m.
“This daily torture of not knowing what happened to my son . . . .we are all hurting so much and I can’t stand to see my other children in so much pain and I can’t make it better.”
Mandy says the stress of the past year has not only affected her and her family’s emotional well-being but it’s also had an impact on her physical health as well. Not surprisingly, she has a difficult time sleeping. She’s become anemic, has constant headaches and body pains, and suffers from recurring anxiety attacks.
Chris’ unexplained disappearance essentially leaves her and her family in limbo, she says, unable to move on without the answers they’re seeking.
In the days after Chris went missing, the RCMP led an official ground and aerial search, which covered the university campus, the downtown, and the Upper Aboujagne Road area, where the Mount Allison student was last believed to be seen. Police and firefighters also did a sweep of the Tantramar River where Chris’ footwear had been found.
But two weeks later, with no new clues discovered, RCMP weren’t any closer to finding out any more about Chris’ whereabouts; and they were forced to call off the search.
But the family persisted. Despite living more than 600 kilometres away, in the Listuguj First Nation in Quebec, they continue to this day looking for any clues that may help them locate his body.
“We have been travelling back and forth (to Sackville) almost every weekend depending on the weather,” says Mandy. “We have searched through heavily wooded areas, ditches, old trails and over areas again just in case something might have been overlooked by other searchers. We are looking for any clues such as clothing, ID, the reflective sticks he was carrying and any human remains.”
Sgt. Jamie Graves of the Sackville RCMP says police continue to keep the Metallic case open, even a year later, in the hopes that new information might come in. But with no real movement in the case over the past few months, he continues to encourage anyone who might have any information on Chris’ disappearance to come forward and contact the RCMP or Crimestoppers.
“Our ultimate goal is to bring closure to the family,” says Graves.
Mandy says she hasn’t heard from RCMP much over the past year and is worried police are letting Chris’ case fall by the wayside.
“It would be nice to hear from them once in a while just to feel assured that my son's disappearance is still being investigated and to let me know if there are any possible leads,” she says. (Just this week, however, RCMP did get in touch with her and they will be meeting soon to discuss the case and go over everything once again.)
Mandy says if she could raise the reward amount for information that would lead to finding her son, she would. But their expenses have been adding up – with gas, hotel rooms, food and more. The family event rented a helicopter for a day to conduct a search.
“We have spent over $30,000 and most of that came from fundraisers and generous donations from so many wonderful people who we will forever be grateful for.”
With so many trips to Sackville, Mandy says the town has become “our home away from home” and they are grateful for all the support they’ve found here.
“We've made a lot of friends and it gives me comfort to know we're not alone and people are always looking,” she says. “We want to thank everyone for all their support and prayers and if anyone knows anything please say something and ease this torture we're all going through.”
Sackville Mayor Bob Berry says the past year has been a tough one; on the family, of course, but also on this community.
“We haven’t forgotten Chris and we’ll probably never forget him . . . at least until this family can get closure,” says Berry. “We think about him all the time.”
He says community members always have their eyes open now when taking walks through the woods or heading to their camps, searching for any signs of Chris.
“It’s in their minds all the time.”