Hello, welcome to our capstone blog. We are three girls apart of the Broadcast news program at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in our final semester. For our final project, we have decided to create a documentary following the disappearance of 20-year-old Ryan Shtuka. There will be 3 separate elements in this project in order to cover everything and reach out to the largest audience possible. The first element will, of course, be this blog which will be updated by one or more group members each week in order to follow our progress with the project, as well as post any updates on the case. There will also be a video element and a podcast that will be posted in a month or so.
For this first blog post, we decided to talk a little bit about ourselves and outline the story of Ryan Shtuka for those who are unfamiliar with the case. So first here a little bit about us…
Hello, my name is Andrea Ferrari I am a second-year broadcast news student at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology. I am 22 years old and grew up in Vancouver, B.C. Growing up I was always into crime shows and very intrigued by people disappearing and never being found. Something about the mystery of it all was always very fascinating to me. I am looking forward to being a part of this project and shedding more light into the disappearance of this young man.
My name is Reya Lehoux; I was born and raised in a small mountain town called Hinton, Alberta, which is just outside Jasper National Park. I moved to Calgary in 2017 to pursue my passion for investigative crime reporting. I am nineteen-years-old, finishing my Broadcast News degree in the spring, both thrilling yet terrifying. The opportunity to investigate and use my skills to potentially find closure for the Shtuka family is a privilege. The story of Ryan truly hits home for me, mostly due to our age. I feel a connection to his life. The awareness this documentary may create and bring means a possibility of being closer to finding peace and closure.
Hi! I’m Storrm Lennie, I’m the third Broadcast News student who will be working on this project. I was raised in Red Deer Alberta, I moved to Calgary to pursue my dream of being a reporter. Right now, I am about to wrap up my last year at SAIT. I feel personally attached to this topic, I grew up in a city not far from where Ryan did and I’m also the same age as him. I know that if something like this happened in my community, we would all be affected, and I hope to help his family find closure in any way I can. This is my last project as a SAIT student and my chance to apply all the skills I’ve learnt over the last two years towards one last story. The opportunity to work and investigate this case is one I won’t take for granted, I plan on giving this project 100% to help the Shtuka family in any way I can.
20-year-old Ryan Shtuka was born and raised in Beaumont, Alberta and always had a love for snowboarding. In December of 2017 Ryan and one of his childhood friends moved to their favourite mountain, Sun Peaks to spend the winter working and snowboarding on the hill. Heather Shutka, Ryans mother said he was always happy in this mountain town and gave no indication he was in trouble.
On Friday, February 16th, 2018 Ryan attended work as usual. After work, he and his roommates went out and ended up at a house on Burfield Drive, only minutes away from their home. Drugs were circling the party, and it is believed that Ryan possibly partook in this activity.
Late in the evening two of Ryan’s roommates, including his friend from Beaumont, grew tired and left the party to walk home. He stayed behind with his other two roommates, a boyfriend and a girlfriend. Eventually, the couple decided to leave too. According to them, they saw him stand up to leave just as they walked out the door.
This was around 2 a.m. on Saturday, February 17th, 2018 and it was the last time anyone saw or heard from Ryan.
At about 11 a.m the next morning, his roommates received a text from one of Ryan’s coworkers asking if Ryan was with them. When they got the message they replied that he wasn’t’ and asked if he had shown up for work. At around 7:30p.m his co-worker replied and said that Ryan hadn’t been seen all day. Shortly after his friends called the RCMP and reported him missing. He also hadn’t used his cellphone or been active on social media since he was last seen leaving the house party.
Kamloops RCMP arrived on the scene at and began to search at about 9:30 am on February 18th 2018. They completed the search at about 7:00 pm.m that evening. It was minus 14 degrees the night RCMP started their search and by 5:30 the next morning the area had gotten nearly 5 more inches of snow and was around minus 22 degrees.
So far there have been three formal searches with RCMP and Kamloops Search and Rescue. The searches included canine units, drones, helicopters, infrared cameras, snowmobiles and upwards of 70 volunteers. However, this doesn’t account for the countless search parties conducted by Ryan’s family and friends. Every day after his disappearance there was a search party with 15-20 people out searching for Ryan. This continued until June 16th 2018 and then it switched to every other weekend.
A podcast by a CBC reporter said that a local in the area, named Jim Reid, lived near where Ryan would’ve been walking home. According to the podcast, he called in and reported that the night of his disappearance he heard someone yelling “get in the car!” at around 2:30 in the morning. She believes there is a big possibility it could be related to Ryans disappearance, but the Shtuka family says they’ve never heard of him or his statement until the podcast came out and there was zero follow up on his allegations.
We will be investigating this Jim Reid and his connection to the case.
Nearly a year later and there has still been no trace of Ryan or his whereabouts. Through this blog, we are hoping to shine a light on who Ryan was and do our part in helping his family receive the closure they deserve.