The search for a popular Crawford Bay elementary school teacher came to a heartbreaking end.
Alvin Dunic went missing on May 29 after going to Crawford Creek to find a good outdoor spot for a class outing. The 57 year old’s unlocked car near the creek was the only clue search and rescue teams had to Dunic’s whereabouts.
What ensued was a massive effort to find Dunic.
The initial ground search included more than 70 search and rescue personnel as well as about 100 volunteers. Dive teams and boats scoured Kootenay Lake, while Dunic’s family and others combed through the bush.
Nearly two months after he was first reported missing, Dunic’s body was finally found July 26 under a log jam in the creek.
Teeka Ferguson was married to Dunic for 17 years. Her presence was a constant throughout the search for Dunic.
“I’ve gotten the impression from some people in the community that they felt it was this continuous event, but for us as a family it was two really separate things — he was missing, then he was dead,” she said.
“Sometimes I feel like I just need him to hug me, that’s the thing that could help get me through this, and that’s the thing I can’t have. It’s hard to wrap your mind around this idea of never again.”
Dunic was also a volunteer firefighter and a co-founder of the Kootenay Review, which later became the East Shore Mainstreet newspaper.
A Nelson Search and Rescue spokesman told the Star that more than 3,700 man-hours were put into Dunic’s search.
Dunic left behind Ferguson, daughters Rajka and Jett and step-daughter Dominique Muir.