For South Peace News
It’s been 42 years since her son went missing, and Denise McKee is still looking for answers.
The determined mother recently launched a GoFundMe campaign planning to raise $20,000 to re-
launch the investigation into his disappearance.
The funds will be used to hire a private investigator to re-examine all theories and old leads and set up a new tip line. Additionally, McKee plans to get an updated professional age progression sketch to show how Dupres would look today, age 45. The new image will be used on posters, social media, and possibly a billboard.
There are also ways to support the cause without donating money, McKee says, including sharing the GoFundMe link, looking over past media coverage on the case, and connecting with her Facebook page: What Happened to Jeffrey Dupres?
Around 1 p.m. on April 24, 1980, Dupres was playing outside his parent’s home with his next-
door neighbour, Rodney, when McKee went inside to transfer over a load of laundry.
“Jeffrey was a bright and energetic three-year-old, thrilled with his first best friend,” she told the Lakeside Leader. “And then he just disappeared from our back yard.”
McKee says she heard Rodney’s father call for him to come inside and assumed her son went along with him, until 20 minutes later when Rodney knocked on her door looking for his friend.
McKee immediately raised the alarm and the community of Slave Lake responded quickly, amassing a search crew of over 200 within the first 24 hours.
“The people of Slave Lake stepped in and searched the town, proving he was no longer there,” she says.
“But that was almost 43 years ago, and we still don’t know what happened to Jeffrey.”
According to statistics provided by MissingKids.ca, of the 50,000 children reported missing each year in Canada, around 92 per cent are found within the first week.
Dupres is part of the 0.1 percent of the children who are abducted by a stranger, and one of the oldest kidnapping cases in the nation.
New technology may breathe life into old tips. One of particular interest is a reported sighting of a woman and man seen coaxing Jeffrey into their vehicle.
One of the most comprehensive write-ups on the case, Canada Unsolved, said: “The woman who kidnapped Jeffrey Dupres was described as an ‘attractive female in her mid-20s, approximately 5’2” tall, 110 lbs with shoulder length brown hair. The truck was a 1978-80 custom painted Chevy/GMC short box pickup, with chrome bumpers and wheels. The driver was a male in his early 30s, clean-shaven with short reddish-blonde hair. Both abductors were ‘relatively small.’ The woman was seen coaxing Jeffrey toward the truck. When Jeffrey got close, she grabbed him, and the truck sped away.”
McKee is hoping the campaign will raise awareness for not only Dupres but all historic cases, who, for the families, are never considered ‘cold.’
“With your help and using the knowledge and resources available today, maybe we can solve the mystery,” says Denise. “What happened to Jeffrey Dupres?”
If you have information on this case, please contact Slave Lake RCMP on (780) 849-3999 and
reference case number: 2013194976 or call Crime Stoppers on (1-800) 222-TIPS.