‘Missing From Me’: Ryan Shtuka’s mother writes her own book



The mother of missing man Ryan Shtuka is in the process of publishing a book about her son’s mysterious disappearance that shattered her family and changed their lives forever.

Shtuka was only 19 when he went missing on his way home from a house party at Sun Peaks in February, 2018, and family, friends and caring strangers have continued to search for him ever since.

Heather Shtuka has been writing the 100,000 word book for a couple of years with the primary purpose of preserving her son’s legacy. Ryan’s story has touched the lives of thousands of people across the country and beyond and continues to connect people on his Facebook page.

Shtuka said the process of writing about and reliving the moments since she last saw her son alive has been heartbreaking.

“If Ryan was gifted more time here he would have done great things, so this is just another thing I can do as someone who loved him dearly so that his legacy will remain,” she said.

The book is separated into three sections. The first takes readers to the day he said goodbye to his family in Alberta and left for a winter of adventure in Sun Peaks on December 1, 2017.

“It is about our ordinary life, it isn’t very long,” she said. “We lived the same life as most people. It shows where we were as a family and Ryan’s upbringing up to when were getting the texts and our initial thoughts as we first headed to Sun Peaks.”

The second part includes the posts Shtuka put on Ryan’s Facebook page that pulled so many together. Shtuka said the page started as a way to keep family and friends updated as they navigated through the tragedy, and to share her some of her emotional journey.

“As people started to join the page I could see the connections to one another and I found that so powerful,” Shtuka said. “So many people have met outside of the group and shared experiences whether traumatic or wonderful ones.

“I am happy people have responded to my posts and my writing has affected people but my main focus has always been on the legacy of Ryan.”


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