RCMP still looking for missing man
Family posts reward for more information
By: Amy Crofts
| Posted: Wednesday, Aug 28, 2013 04:15 pm
The family of a missing B.C. man last seen in Alberta is posting a special reward for more information about his disappearance.
Valentine (Val) Degenhardt was reported missing to Morinville RCMP on July 19. He was last seen around 5:30 p.m. on July 17 in Barrhead Alberta while visiting an acquaintance. Surveillance video shows the 45-year-old entered and left a Barrhead gas station alone the same day.
Degenhardt, a resident of Salmon Arm B.C., was visiting Alberta where he has ties in Sturgeon County.
The RCMP is treating his disappearance as suspicious.
“There is an element or aspect of criminality that we believe is associated with his disappearance,” said Sgt. Josée Valiquette, spokesperson with the RCMP’s “K” Division.
Degenhardt was last seen travelling with his two dogs in a 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee with the Alberta licence plate BJS 0889. The dogs have since been located but Degenhardt and his jeep remain missing.
RCMP are also investigating a tip about a burned out SUV that was seen on a flat deck heavy duty truck on July 30 around 7:30 a.m. travelling southbound on Highway 2 north of St. Albert. RCMP have not been able to connect the burnt out vehicle with Degenhardt’s disappearance, but are seeking more information on its whereabouts.
Degenhardt’s family has created a special reward fund at Servus Credit Union in Ponoka hoping it generate tips about his disappearance. So far the family has raised $5,000 and is still collecting donations.
“If anybody has any information…no matter how insignificant you might think, your information could be a vital piece to the puzzle. Anything helps to bring him home” said Robyn Schmitke at an RCMP press conference in Edmonton on Wednesday.
Schmitke last saw her husband of one year when he left for Alberta on July 17.
“We just want him to come home. We’re all very scared, it’s like living in a horror movie,” she said. “Everyday we wake up to this. It doesn’t even seem real.”
Degenhardt is stepfather to Schmitke’s 13-year-old son.
Degenhardt is described as a 45-year-old Caucasian male with green eyes, brown and gray hair, with a gray goatee. He is approximately 5’8 “ tall and weighs approximately 200 pounds.
He was last seen wearing a black t-shirt with white logos/writing on the front and back, knee-length shorts, and sandals.
The vehicle he was driving had a SportRack model 40-1154-2 which was positioned to the passenger’s side roof.
Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Valentine Degenhardt are asked to contact the Morinville RCMP at 780-939-4520 or call Crime stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), by internet at www.tipsubmit.com, or by SMS (check your local Crime Stoppers [www.crimestoppers.ab.ca] for instructions on how to do).
The Degenhardt family has partnered with Crime Stoppers to help investigators get information from the public with a reward exceeding what is traditionally offered. Tipsters can either opt for the special reward, but have to speak directly to investigators and be willing to go to court, or go through the Crime Stopper’s process and be anonymous and eligible for a reward up to $2,000.
For more information on how to make a donation to the “Valentine Degenhardt Special Reward Fund” visit: http://www.facebook.com/MissingValentineDegenhardt.