Author Topic: Ron & Terry Yakimchuk (nee Pettit) - Missing - June 1973 - Edmonton, AB  (Read 50567 times)

jellybean

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We should always consider water as a factor.  Although in a news article the couple were seen beside their VW.
The passerby may have been a good Samaritan to stop and help them to get going again.  If so, where is this person?
If they decided to keep on driving, and with twisting roads, who knows??
I have always felt that they went off the road and plunged into water. Simply because there are no clues, nor remains, nor remnants of their being on that trip, other than that one eye witness.
If they were murdered, surely the car would have been found - eventually.  So that is why the car, and their belongings, and the occupants "vanished". They were unfamiliar with the twisting roads and high cliffs and had a terrible accident.
JMO

JB
« Last Edit: July 14, 2012, 02:30:48 PM by jellybean »

debbiec

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I think it is very possible that this couple perished in an accident of some type and have never been found, JB. It sounds like many of the routes they could have taken were isolated and not the greatest driving conditions, particularly given the car they were driving. It is important to keep in mind that it has never been proven that the people standing off to the side of the road and seen by a passerby, were in fact, Ron and Terry Yakimchuk. I certainly would not rule that out as a possibility given the description of both the people and the car, but we just can't be sure.

jellybean

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No, we can never be sure! If it was a car accident, I doubt if the remnants of their little beetle will ever be found, Should it have been in Lake Superior, unless rusty remants are found by a diver (stumbled upon)

In the 70's if it was homicide, this would be most unusual.  At best money would have been taken, and even hijacking the car would have been most unusual, and the car would have eventually been found.
Times were different then.
Innocent times.  Couples would and could pack up for a road trip, and feel safe (re: crime)
Not so today in 2012.

Lake Superior, (had to travel around it to get to my parents' who lived in Barrie, is deep, every so deep, and what I recall is high cliffs of shale - It is part of the Cambrian Shield. - I went there (on my way to Barrie,  many years later, and it was "Different then - than travelling through Alberta. 
A new experience. 

We have these twisting roads throughout the mountains, here in Alberta, but Ontario is a different landscape! Leaving from Edmonton as this couple did, they perhaps were not prepared.
The landscape is totally different, even if they went to the Rockies or not, it is twisting and winding around Lake Superior for miles!! The headlights on a beetle (especially on an older model) would not light up their way in the dark.  This young couple were detemined to attend a wedding, (after all, one must be on time for a wedding) and they may have pressed on.That is my take on it!
(And besides we do not know the road conditions either)
Who knows??


JB
« Last Edit: July 14, 2012, 04:35:00 PM by jellybean »

jobo

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I tend to agree with you Jellybean.  Problem being there is so many many miles of highway to check.
Only thing to do is start at Dryden and head east and check every spot on the highway that either has steep dropoffs or water...or both.

I did notice one thing while living out west, most shoulders were paved in the '70's,'80's (don't know if they still pave them)...but out here in Ontario the shoulders are soft, not paved....and in some parts of the Highways there really isn't much room to pull over.
The highways really weren't that wide in spots, back then, and it is windy and hilly, like I mentioned.  Beautiful country, Lake Superior is awesome/vast...not quite the ocean, but pretty big just the same.

Many nights in the '70's,'80's we pulled off the highway and slept in our Van beside a lake....anywhere from Calgary to Toronto...you could do that back then without worry (except for bears), for sure.

expecting rain

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This really interests me because I am so familiar with this highway and all the shortcuts and side roads.

First @ cana_nomad: No I actually don't live anywhere near the Sultan anymore, however I just had family members take it a couple of weeks ago to get to our family camp near Sudbury. It is a long, dirt road littered with ghost towns from the old mine days. If you are a photographer and like that sort of thing it is a crazy place to go. The "town" of  Sultan, Ontario itself is creepy. Like out of a horror movie. A church in the middle, surrounded by a circle of field and cemetery, fence and then houses. I still have nightmares about it. Lots of places to get lost in, or disappear if you so choose.

Dryden would be the first place I would start looking along the highway. I don't think they ever got to Thunder Bay, otherwise they would of sent a postcard or made contact. A vehicle like the one they owned in the 70s would of stuck out like a sore thumb in Northwestern Ontario. I think they got lost/disappeared/broke down along highway 17 after Dryden.

I know we were talking about the theory about them going through the states. I just don't see people unfamiliar with the NWO taking that highway between Dryden and Thunder Bay down near Atikokan and then doubling back to Fort Frances or Rainy River. It doesn't really make sense to do that now (it is quite a distance to do that doubling back) and I can only imagine that secondary road was even worse in the 70s. The only possibilty I can think of is that the could of taken that secondary road to Thunder Bay (I have personally done that trip in the past) as it is more scenic and I could see a local person from Dryden maybe even suggesting it to them. Being from out of province and with the Kayak on their roof thought they might be up for a bit of adventure, because that secondary road also takes you down to Quetico Park. It is one of the coolest provincial parks in Ontario but very difficult to navigate and definitely not for novice outdoors people (my personal opinion). It is quite possibly it was suggested to them, and I have heard Quetico is one of those places that is a maze, and once you are lost you may never find your way out. http://www.ontarioparks.com/english/quet.html

It also happens to boarder on the U.S.

Just came to mind as I was typing and brainstorming.

debbiec

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I've posted an informational post under 'Ontario - Other Locations'. Hopefully it will jog someone's memory if they have ever seen the car. 


http://www.unsolvedcanada.ca/index.php?topic=6206.0

cana_nomad

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Does anyone know if an alert of any kind has been put out in the U.S. or if there was an American article about the Yakimchuks?  It would help a lot if there was any bulletin out there or lookout in the U.S. especially if they ever crossed that way.  An Alberta licensed car would stick out like a sore thumb anywhere south of the province, even today.

jellybean

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They disappeared in 1973.  That is a very very long time ago.  I doubt if anyone would recall seeing their car in the US, or in any place for that matter.
Remnants of the car, stumbled upon - yes provided the public is aware of the type of car missing.  There are many old abandonded vehicles, (rust buckets) strewn across our Canadian landscape. 
Unless someone is curious, and looks inside them, then ---------there would be a chance of locating their remains.
That is provided the vehicle is on land.

To my mind, the family did the wisest thing by setting up their tombstone as a rememberance to both of them, to show that this couple did exist on this earth, and that they were loved by family.

JB

jobo

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We sometimes need to take those 'long shots', cana_nomad....you just never know.  And thanks for your efforts!

debbiec

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Re: Ron & Terry Yakimchuk (nee Pettit) - Missing - June 1973 - Edmonton, AB
« Reply #24 on: November 03, 2012, 05:43:30 PM »
Posting to bring this thread up.

cana_nomad

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Re: Ron & Terry Yakimchuk (nee Pettit) - Missing - June 1973 - Edmonton, AB
« Reply #25 on: December 23, 2012, 12:25:37 AM »
Finally, I located the original thread- I couldn't find exactly where I wanted to post this. 

This is going to be a longer read, but worth going through it.

I brought this up at work and also brought up the case of the unidentified couple found in South Carolina. 

Everyone is now interested in this, including a colleague who is a biochemist by trade and quite familiar with physical similarites used for comparisons, DNA, etc.

Here are some theories:

- whether or not the unidentified couple in SC is the Yakimchuks, they don't appear to be brother and sister like so many people have theorized.  It could be that they met up (again, as hitchhikers in those days were quite common)

- the Yakimchuks had told some friends of theirs that they were planning to disappear for a few years, lending to the theory that they are the unidentified couple

- everyone who has stuided both pictures (without talking first to one another) see a resemblance between the un-ID'd male in SC and Ron Yakimchuk.  They were not as certain when comparing facial characteristics between Terry and the woman, BUT they all pointed out what I have been thinking (and I believe this was alluded to on another website)- that women, in the span of three years especially, can change their appearance astronomically.  According to my biochemist friend, it is really hard to ID people from autopsies due to the physical altercations that occur as a result of natural muscle relaxation and decay.  DNA testing is the only sure way, especially in cases where the people have not been seen in a few years.  Aging is also a factor depending on what sorts of conditions the couple were living in.

Here is something that I will apologize to the Yakimchuk family for, assuming they watch this thread:

Has anyone here noticed that aside from reporting them missing, neither Ron nor Terry's parents seem to have been involved in finding answers?  this is just something that was brought up after combing through the Internet among us.  One of the ladies I worked with noticed that Terry's parents are never mentioned.  Not one interview, plea for help, etc.  It doesn't mean such instances don't exist, but it's odd that we see interviews with Ron's siblings and theories from them, and nothing from Terry's side, nor Ron's actual parents.  It was only recently that Ron's father died.  Sure, they had gravesites made up, but why can't we find anything else?  If you pair this information with the fact that Ron and Terry were planning to disappear for awhile, it raises the question if something was going on with Ron and his parents and maybe after they went missing, the parents felt some guilt over whatever it was and that is why we haven't heard much from them.  Or, with Terry and hers.  Of course, should this be the case, it could be about anything.  Given that the couple seem to be polar opposites, it could even be they were given flak for even marrying.  Or, again going with the theory that at least one of them is from the un-ID'd couple, it could be a case of a son not following in his father's footsteps.  The man who played pool with the un-ID'd male in SC said that the man told him he was sort of disowned for not becoming a teacher and not a doctor.  Ron was a teacher.  Despite the un-ID'd male claiming to be named Jock/Jacques, I would be using an alias too if I really didn't want to be found.  As a matter of fact, I do on Facebook (but that's a separate debate).  Also, if Jacques/Jock WERE this un-ID'd male's real name, why was he trying to sell the ring he was wearing with the initials of JPF on it?  (assuming the J stood for Jacques/Jock).  If that were his real name, it seems it would be something he would want to hold onto.  If he needed to sell it for money, why not part with the fancier (and more impersonal) Bulova watch?  Even today those are quite expensive.

- Regarding the UN-ID'd couple having money: here is what is most perplexing.  Why did they have no ID yet expensive jewellery that was left untouched?  Whatever the circumstances, this was not a robbery.  That watch itself was worth a LOT of money, nevermind the genuine sapphire rings.  No one among the group that discussed this was really surprised by the woman's unshaven legs or the lack of underwear- when camping/driving, you typically can't access laundry facilities or dig out a razor.  You will notice the man had stubble in the autopsy photos.  they probably went without underwear because they ran out of clean pairs.  This would chllange the "well, they are European because she didn't shave her legs" idea.  I would be more curious to know if her legs had stubble on them, or if the hair on them was soft looking.  That would tell you if they have EVER been shaved or just not recently.  Also, I know in the 60s a lot of women refused to do things like shave or wear bras.  Did this continue to the 70s?  (I was not alive so this would be interesting to find out).

Should that couple not be the Yakimchuks:

- Could they have been missing children who were trying to go home?  this could be why no one has claimed them.  No one would know what they are supposed to look like as adults.  Although, you would have to believe the brother and sister theory.

- The man had undergone an appendectomy.  How common were/are these surgeries?  Was/is there any other way to heal an appendix?  Never had problems with mine, so wouldn't know.  Did Ron have one?  If this were him, could he have had one without his family knowing?  this is another reason why it's odd we hear nothing about medical/dental histories of the Yakimchuks.  Again, not be insulting, but if this were my family, I would have released absolutely every medical/dental procedure ever performed on my missing loved one to get those comparisons out there.  The man found in SC had a LOT of expensive dental work.  From what I'm hearing, in the 70s, that was very rare unless you were from money. 

-Assuming it is only the man who is Ron and Terry is not the unknown female- were they having marital problems?  Was this trip/move a last ditch effort to save a crumbling marriage?  did they then divorce and maybe one took off and they even lost touch with each other?  Or...i hesitate to post this...could one have harmed the other? 

And finally, what should have been obvious to me but wasn't until a coworker brought it up: Why in the world were they moving to Nova Scotia?  What was the plan exactly?  Both were well employed (from the sounds of it at least) in Edmonton.  And there did not seem to be a concrete plan in place for Nova Scotia.  For instance, the article about them in 2009 says they were "hoping" to find work there, not that they had offers.  This is why it seems that they really were planning on disappearing.  the overall consensus I got from our discussion at work was that they were planning to disappear and then make contact when whatever was happening had died down, and then tragedy struck.

I really hope something comes out of that DNA testing.

Everyone was at a loss re: the lack of ID.  Might be they had it in the car with them and it was stolen.  Could it also be that the Yakimchuks were held somewhere for three years against their will and trying to flee, having only the clothes on their back?

That is what everyone had to contribute.

jellybean

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Re: Ron & Terry Yakimchuk (nee Pettit) - Missing - June 1973 - Edmonton, AB
« Reply #26 on: December 23, 2012, 12:56:19 AM »
DNA was given by her sister.  It was an Edmonton Journal article which is now defunct. There was no comparison in facial structure, body size of him nor her to the couple found in the USA.  This couple (Yakimchuk's) remains missiing.

JB

cana_nomad

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Re: Ron & Terry Yakimchuk (nee Pettit) - Missing - June 1973 - Edmonton, AB
« Reply #27 on: December 23, 2012, 11:37:42 AM »
JB, I don't get it- do you mean that the DNA results came back and it's for sure not them?

jellybean

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Re: Ron & Terry Yakimchuk (nee Pettit) - Missing - June 1973 - Edmonton, AB
« Reply #28 on: December 23, 2012, 01:06:03 PM »
All that I know is; 1. Her sister gave her dna incase her remains were found.
2. My assumption is that it does not match, because LE do talk to each other across borders.

Height, body size, facial structures do not match.

His parents have set up a gravesite for both of them, so that in the event their remains are found, that they would have a resting place. I did do alot of investigation and found their gravesite.  It is in a small town in Alberta.

That is all that I know.

The mystery of their disappearance, is not a mystery to me, in my own opinion.  I firmly believe that their beetle bug, which was in bad shape to begin with, probably went off the highway into a very deep lake along our Canadian Shield.

This couple had no reason to disappear on thier own.  They were heading off to a wedding here, in Canada.
They both had jobs.  She worked for the Edmonton Journal - not sure what he did.
They were expected to return to Edmonton to assume their work positions  No indication otherwise.  All was cool.
Here we have a Canadian couple heading off to a wedding and driving across Canada to get there.
Unfortunately, they never made it.   No sign of their car, which tells me that they drove over the shoulder of the road and ended up in one of our Great Lakes.

Jellybean (JB)
« Last Edit: December 23, 2012, 01:45:32 PM by jellybean »

cana_nomad

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Re: Ron & Terry Yakimchuk (nee Pettit) - Missing - June 1973 - Edmonton, AB
« Reply #29 on: December 23, 2012, 08:14:36 PM »
I didn't know the plan was to return to Alberta.  I'm confused, because I read they were headed to Nova Scotia and were stopping at the wedding on their way, and that the plan was to end up working/living in Nova Scotia.  I will have to find that newspaper article...

Personally, regardless of what happened, I still think it's possible they decided to try to cross into the U.S. and the "nyah" on the postcard was an indication of that (having second thoughts and wanting to go on an adventure as it were).

If they went into the water, it would have had to be during nightfall.  I just can't imagine that no one would see a car like that in broad daylight.  Although there was that guy who thinks his brother killed them but apparently there was no evidence?  I wonder if that story was ever checked out.