One year after Matthew Huszar, an avid outdoorsman and young geologist, disappeared from Gastown, police are renewing their call to the public for tips on his whereabouts.
Huszar was last seen Dec. 16, 2011 outside the Lamplighter Public House after leaving a company Christmas party.
He was reported missing the next day and in the days and months following, family and friends launched a city-wide campaign to find their loved one, calling for clues about his unusual disappearance.
“He said his goodbyes, wished his colleagues a Merry Christmas and headed east on Water Street at around midnight,” his mother Danny Huszar said at press conference last year. “He has not been seen or heard from since.”
Matthew is described as both smart and easy-going and his disappearance shocked his family, friends and girlfriend as completely out of character.
“There has been no evidence a crime was committed, no evidence of suicide, no evidence that he disappeared voluntarily — basically no evidence of anything,” his mother said last year. “We are very frustrated and frightened by the lack of any information whatsoever.”
One month later, the family issued a $10,000 reward for any information that could lead the family to Huszar. Police said the reward offer garnered some tips, all of which have been followed up, but that they need more information.
Police said they have no new leads on the then-25-year-old’s whereabouts, but hope that Monday’s renewed appeal will remind the public he has not been found and the circumstances of that night.
“Because it’s been a year, we want to try and obtain any additional information we can [and we] hope that the public has some information or some tips they haven’t provided to us in the past that we can follow up on,” said Const. Brian Montague, a media liaison officer with the Vancouver Police Department.
There’s always reason to hope, and the case is still very much open, he said.
“If we can get even one tip that might help us solve this case, then it’s worth making that appeal to the public and making that effort to ask for the public’s help,” Montague said.
A skier, hiker and camper, Matthew was a recent University of B.C. honours in geology graduate. He was happy with his job and had plans to restore a recently purchased sailboat. His mother said he dreamed of sailing it around the world.
Huszar is five-foot-11, 175 pounds, with brown eyes and was sporting shoulder length dark brown hair at the time of his disappearance. He was last seen wearing black dress pants, a white and blue checkered shirt, black shoes and a dark green tweed three-quarter length coat.
The family couldn’t be reached for comment in time for the Courier’s press deadline.
The website dedicated to clues — findmatthewhuszar.ca — is still up, as is the Facebook event page asking people to poster Gastown in the months after his disappearance. “It’s an ongoing invitation for sure, it’s open and ongoing and active, but we’re hoping that we can get more information,” Montague said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact their local police, Crime Stoppers or the VPD Missing Person Unit at 604-717-2530 or email@example.com.