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One year later, family of missing South Surrey man clings to hope
Officers with Surrey RCMP’s Missing Persons Unit are launching a new appeal for information in the case of a South Surrey man who hasn’t been seen in more than a year.
And family members of Vaclav (Walter) Simek are keeping their fingers crossed that the request will trigger the details needed to end the mystery of why he disappeared and what happened.
“We haven’t heard anything for about 13 months now,” Simek’s ex-wife, Maria Gonzalez, told Peace Arch News last week.
The ordeal has been particularly difficult on her and Simek’s 13-year-old son, Mattias, she said.
“He’s waiting for his dad every single day.”
Gonzalez, a Tsawwassen resident, reported Simek missing on April 10, 2013 after weeks went by without contact.
He typically spent every weekend with Mattias and the two parents had a good relationship for their son, she said.
Simek, now 53, was last seen on March 7 last year, when he was dropped off in the area of 200 Street and 40 Avenue in Langley.
Investigation revealed that Simek had rented a car between Feb. 23 and March 7 to move belongings from the trailer he called home to an unknown location. Police say it was the rental company that dropped him off and that Simek’s banking and cellphone accounts have not been used since.
Police have found no evidence of foul play, and have no evidence that Simek – an avid outdoorsman and a restoration mason by trade – left the country.
Numerous interviews of Simek’s friends, family members and associates, along with extensive checks of government and financial institutions, have brought police no closer to solving the mystery of Simek’s disappearance.
Gonzalez said she now believes something Simek did a month before he disappeared was a sign of things to come.
He gave Mattias a number of his belongings, among them a “big, very beautiful” picture of the father and son.
On the back of the framed photo he wrote, “No matter what happens in our life, remember that I always love you.”
“After that, he was normal, picking up Mattias (as usual),” Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez described Simek as “a very good man,” and said it is “totally out of character” for him to not call or visit his son. She remains hopeful the story will have a happy ending.
“I’m still hoping that he’s alive,” she said.
“Hope is the last thing that you lose, and I’m really hoping one day he is knocking on my door.”
Simek is described as a six-foot-three, 210-pound Caucasian man, with brown hair and blue eyes.
It’s believed he may have his dog, Tucker, with him, a Springer spaniel.
Anyone with information that could help police locate Simek – even the smallest detail could make the difference, they say – is asked to call the Surrey RCMP Missing Person Unit at 604-599-0502, quoting file number 2013-43817.
To remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).