Fate of man remains mystery 19 years after disappearance

Jim Day
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Family of Steven O'Brien, who vanished in 1993, is hopeful that some day there will be an answer

Photos and age progression image of Steven O’Brien, who disappeared at age 19 on March 20, 1993, after a night out with his friends in Charlottetown. The MissingKids.ca program is appealing to anyone with information about this case to come forward.

Steven O’Brien was born 38 years ago.

His immediate family has not seen him for the last half of those years.

They have not heard from him. They have not heard of him.

Janet O’Brien of Iona, P.E.I., says her son’s disappearance 19 years ago has left a void in her family that she keeps hoping will one day be filled.

“I do remain hopeful that some day there will be an answer,’’ she said.

“We just hold on to that hope that he is still out there and for whatever reason has not come home.’’

Two months shy of his 19th birthday, Steven was a first-year student at Holland College’s Culinary Institute in Charlottetown when he went missing after a night out with friends on March 20, 1993. He was seen at the former nightclub called Myron’s and he was last seen on Queen Street alone and was never seen again.

At the time of his disappearance, he was a typical student, living downtown in Charlottetown and working at the Culinary Institute in his free time.

 “He was a kid that enjoyed family,’’ said O’Brien.

“He enjoyed nature, getting out for a walk on the trail back to the woods ... and being with friends. Friends were important to him.’’

Steven wanted to become a chef. He used to make a birthday cake for his mother every year.

O’Brien does not need any special occasion like Steven’s birthday or the date of his disappearance to have her thoughts drift to her son, who has a brother and two sisters.

“For me he is on my mind every day ... he’s on my mind constantly,’’ she said.

The Canadian Centre for Child Protection’s MissingKids.ca program is appealing to members of the public with any information about this case to come forward.

“Let’s not let another day, another month, another year go by for Steven’s family to be waiting for answers,’’ said Christy Dzikowicz, director of MissingKids.Ca.

“We encourage anyone who has any information about this young man’s disappearance to come forward today so that his family can bring him home.’’

The day of his disappearance, Steven was wearing wire-framed prescription glasses, a burgundy L.L. Bean plaid-lined jacket, blue jeans and hiking boots. Steven’s family believes he may have had his keys on him, however, his wallet and other personal effects were left in his apartment.

The Charlottetown Police Services has been investigating the disappearance for 19 years, says Det./Const. Randy Currie.

“We will continue to follow up on any information regarding his disappearance and whereabouts in an attempt to find the truth and bring answers for the family,’’ he said.

O’Brien says she needs to know the fate of her son. She still holds on to hope that Steven is alive because, she notes, the family has not received any news to lead them to think otherwise.

“Just wanting to get an answer if he is out there,’’ she said.

“We do need closure.’’

Anyone with informationregarding Steven or any other missing child is urged to contact their local law enforcement office or contact MissingKids.ca at 1-800-543-8477. Tips can also be submitted online at missingkids.ca.

Organizations: Holland College, Culinary Institute, Canadian Centre L.L. Bean Charlottetown Police Services

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Iona, Queen Street

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  • Hopeful
    October 11, 2012 - 19:03

    I went to high school with Stephen and remember him well. I often think fondly of him and wonder what happened. I'm hopeful his family will get some answers.

  • Sylvia
    October 11, 2012 - 13:54

    I can't think of anything worse than this to happen. It's hard enough to lose a child due to sickness or accident but to lose them this way must be the hardest of all. I hope that Stephen's family will soon get news about Stephen as I remember when this happened. Being the mother of 2 sons, I would find this unbearable to live with.

  • Not to be forgotten . . .
    October 11, 2012 - 13:27

    We have no relationship with the O’Brien's - familial or otherwise - and we didn't know Steven. But, for what it is worth, we often think about Steven's disappearance. The loss to his family is not measurable, nor is their continued suffering. With that said, I think it's important that we are reminded of this tragic situation. Whatever happened to that young man, his life has not been for nothing. We need to remember that we never truly know what goes on in other people's lives and that life is always an unfinished story. All the more reason to be compassionate and open-minded to each other, whether we know each other or not.

  • Good luck
    October 11, 2012 - 11:38

    You are saying he went clubbing without his wallet? That seems absurb. I wish these kind of cases could get resolved. And Mr Carrs murder. Somebody must know something. It must be awful as a loved one not to know. Good luck.

  • Bill Kays
    Bill Kays
    October 11, 2012 - 11:36

    All I can offer is a message of hope and encouragement to the family. No matter his circumstances you still carry him in your heart. My prayers are with you. This is one I find helpful. Psalm 121 New King James Version (NKJV) God is the Help of Those Who Seek Him, A Song of Ascents. I will lift up my eyes to the hills— From whence comes my help? 2 My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth. 3 He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. 4 Behold, He who keeps Israel Shall neither slumber nor sleep. 5 The Lord is your keeper; The Lord is your shade at your right hand. 6 The sun shall not strike you by day, Nor the moon by night. 7 The Lord shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul. 8 The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in From this time forth, and even forevermore. Amen.

    • Joe
      October 11, 2012 - 22:48

      I went to elementary school with Steven in same class was always nice and happy kid but I tell you I always thought his case and the Carr case are related always thought so.