Young Phillip Porter was running an errand for his mother and never returned. That was 50 years ago today. Phillip has been missing ever since. An extensive search and investigation was conducted by the Kimberley RCMP but there was no sign of Philp. The investigation has continued ever since then and the current RCMP officers recently conducted a full review of the circumstances. Over the years, multiple avenues of investigation were pursued without success.
Phillip left the house around 1:00 pm on June 26, 1969. He was expected home around 5:30 pm for dinner. When he didn’t return, Mrs. Porter called friends to see if they had seen Philip.
At the time, Phillip’s father was the general manager of the Comico Mine (now Teck). Mrs. Porter was scheduled to fly to Trail that evening but the flight had been cancelled so, fortunately, she was at home when the phone rang.
At 10:30 that night, the family received a phone call from a man requesting $100,000 for the return of their son.
One month later on July 27, 1969, Earle Bennett was arrested, charged with extortion, and convicted. Although he remained a subject of interested in Phillip’s disappearance, Bennett died in a plane crash on Oct 30, 1974.
As part of the investigation, officers traveled to various parts of Canada and the USA. In addition to local ground searches of mine shafts and sewer pipes, a property in Wycliffe was searched as was Moyie Lake. Wire taps, polygraph tests and undercover operations were all used in the investigation. There have been various reported sightings over the years but, unfortunately, they have not resulted in locating Philip.
Phillip’s brother, Doug, who is 75 now, recalls his time with Phillip. “I had moved away from Kimberley prior to Philip’s disappearance but came back regularly to visit, says Doug Porter who was 25 years old when Phillip went missing. I had come home for Christmas in 1968 and I have a vivid memory of Philip and I skiing and having lunch on the hill. That was the last time I saw him.
Police have considered several theories which include accidental death, kidnapping, murder or that he was a runaway. Posters with a description of Phillip were posted around town.
At the time Phillip lived on Giegerich Road in Kimberley. BC.
• Born June 11, 1953
• 5’ 7
• 126 pounds
• Short brown hair, brown eyes.
S/Sgt Fred Bodnaruk (Rtd), Kimberley Detachment Commander at the time was friends with the Porters and spent a lot of time working on the investigation. “Even to this date, I think about it often. I’m troubled that there has never been any closure on the matter.”
The investigation remains active and police are reaching out to the public for any information that may assist in bringing closure to the family. Please call the Kimberley RCMP at 250-427-4811 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.