Summerside family honours lost son with food drive
ADAM MACINNIS adam.macinnis @ngnews.ca @adammacinnis1
SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. Twenty-eight years. No answers. For Bonnie Thomas, of Summerside, the pain has almost become a part of life. “I'm sort of used to it,” Thomas said in a recent interview. “I've learned to live with the frustration and the anger and all of that for 28 years.” On May 19, 1994, her 13-year-old son Kevin Martin ran away from their Stellarton home. But unlike other times he'd run off, he never came back. For the next six years, Thomas and her family hoped and prayed for a happy ending that never came. On Nov. 13, 2000, commercial loggers working in the Burnside area of Colchester County discovered his remains in a shallow grave. Physical evidence found at the scene confirmed his death was a homicide, but police have never been able to close the case. “We're no further ahead than the day he went missing,” Thomas said. Since his death, other family members have passed away, including Thomas' mother and her husband. All went to their grave without answers. Thomas has her suspicions about who may be responsible for Kevin's murder, but believes a pact must have been made among those involved to prevent any from speaking about it. “We live our lives, and we do this and do that, but it's still not the same,” she says. “We're prisoners, is what I believe. We're the ones who are getting judged. That's not fair.” At times she will sit and think about her sons, Kevin, who was murdered and another son, Olin, who died in a house fire. She dreams about what their lives would be like now. “Would he be married or have children or have a good job?” she wonders. “I only wish that their lives were able to come to that, where we could see them grow and maybe have families of their own.” She hopes that someday someone will speak and end the years of silence and pain. “I'm hoping and praying. We just got to get the right person to come forward.” While she waits, Thomas and her family are doing their part to keep Kevin's memory alive. Every year on the anniversary of his disappearance, they've traditionally made a trip from Prince Edward Island, where they now live, to Pictou County to visit his grave and honour him. While COVID has hindered their travel over the last couple of years, Thomas is still planning to mark the anniversary of Kevin's disappearance by holding a food drive fundraiser. The food drive will be held on May 14 at the Salvation Army Church Parking lot in Summerside from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. “To us, it's showing that Kevin was loved by many and he's not just a forgotten little boy,” Thomas said. “He'll live in our hearts forever.” Stellarton Police Chief Mark Hobeck said the investigation is being handled by the RCMP Major Crime unit, but the Stellarton Police Department maintains an interest in it and passes along information when they get it. Hobeck believes there is still hope that the case may be solved despite the time that has passed. "There's always a chance," he said. "I would never close a door on an investigation." All it may take he said is for a life changing event to happen for someone who knows information. RCMP Public Information Officer Cpl. Chris Marshall said the RCMP do follow up on information and tips when they come in. He said there is no update they can provide now other than that the investigation remains open. Anyone with information they believe may be helpful can call the Stellarton Police Service at 902 752-6160 or Crime Stoppers at 1 800 222TIPS (8477) or text TIP162 and a message to 274637.