New billboards and signs are now hung around Sackville, N.B., marking a milestone that no parent ever wants to face.
Twenty-year-old Chris Metallic went missing exactly one decade ago on Nov. 25, 2012.
“I never imagined it would come up to ten years,” said Mandy Metallic, Chris’ mom. “I figured he would have been found a long time ago.”
His family describes the Mount Allison University student as sensitive, caring, athletic, smart and just an all-around good kid.
“You learn how to live with it and still hope for him to be found… some days are really really hard,” said Mandy.
To mark the decade-long search, three new billboards were set up in Sackville Friday morning. All of them showcase Chris’ face, when he went missing and the number for Crime Stoppers.
“I don’t like to think about if somebody knows something or if somebody had something to do with his disappearance. And if that’s the case, I want them to see the poster all the time and put an end to this,” said Mandy. “I don’t like thinking about that because it will drive me crazy if somebody hurt him.”
On the anniversary of Chris’ disappearance, most of his family gathered together in Sackville, remembering what made him who he was and finding solace in each other’s company.
“I grew up hanging out with him all the time — watching him play his PlayStation and I would just sit on the floor in his room and watch him play and just talk about whatever video game he was playing at the time,” said Chris’ brother, Spencer Isaac.
“When I became a teenager, him and I would often start kind of goofing off together and getting in trouble together and such,” he added. “He was one of my best friends.”
With Chris’ new niece helping to keep spirits high, Isaac also took a minute to reflect on how Chris would have fared as an uncle.
“I think Chris would have been kind of scared of her,” he laughed. “But he would have loved her, and when he loves, he loves deeply and he gives everything he can do somebody. I know when he would have met her, he would have been scared to hold her, but he would have done anything for her.”
Mount Allison University was holding a sacred fire for Chris on Friday. In an email, a spokesperson for the school stated, “The day is about honouring Chris and supporting his family and friends through this ceremony.”
As for his family, they say the community has been extremely supportive and amazing during the last ten years.
“So many people didn’t even know him, but everybody loves him and they want him found,” said Mandy.
With heavy hearts, the family and the community continue searching.
“Essentially, people should know that he’s really loved and we really miss him,” said Isaac. “He’s an incredible, incredible man. Just know that we all miss him dearly.”