Bonnie Thomas has spent 20 years asking questions.
She’s wondered where her 13-year-old son Kevin Martin went – for about six years, until his remains were discovered.
Since then she’s asked, what could have happened to him?
But now, more than ever, she believes she may be getting close to getting the answers she’s longed for.
“At least this year there’s a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel,” she says.
This year’s Kevin’s name has finally been added to the rewards program and investigators say they have some new information they are checking into.
“We’re at a better place than we were 20 years ago,” Thomas says. “It’s been a long emotional journey for us. We just have to be stronger for a little bit. We will get the justice for Kevin. I’m certain of that.”
Kevin was just a couple of weeks shy of his 14th birthday the day he disappeared. He’d been coming home from a friend’s home when he hopped a fence and took off running from the family’s MacKay Street, Stellarton, home. It was the last time Thomas saw her son.
Police believe he was murdered shortly after he disappeared, but his family was left to wait and wonder, until his remains were discovered by loggers on Nov. 13, 2000, in a dense forest off an isolated road in Burnside, on the Pictou-Colchester county border, a 30-minute drive from Stellarton.
Thomas said every holiday is hard as she thinks of Kevin and another son, Owen, who died in a fire, but she’s thankful for the family she still has and the grandchildren she lives near in Prince Edward Island.
“They’re a joy,” she said. “They brighten my day when I’m feeling down.”
She has happy thoughts of Kevin, too, even if they are tainted with sadness.
She remembers him as a happy little guy who taught his sister to tie her shoe, danced with his siblings and loved the song “Whoop, there it is.”
She said it was kind of special one day shortly after they announced that Kevin’s murder had been put on the rewards program, she heard his favourite song on the radio.
“It was funny,” she said. “I hadn’t heard it for years.”
This weekend as she remembers the anniversary of Kevin’s disappearance, she will come to Pictou County and visit his gravesite. She will spruce it up a bit, remember and hope.
“Now with this reward maybe someone will come forward.”
Anyone who has information should call the Rewards for Major Unsolved Crimes Program at 1-888-710-9090.
"To investigators no piece of information is too small," said Sgt. Paul Vickers, RCMP Northeast Major Crime Unit. "We want to solve this case and bring much-deserved closure to the family. By adding this case to the rewards program, we are hoping those with information will decide to come forward. That one piece of information could be all that's needed."