Almost a year has passed since the disappearance of Jordan Holling, but the search continues for the missing B.C. teenager.
Now his family wants to thank community members in Campbell River for their support during a heartbreaking ordeal. The pain of his absence remains severe.
“You go to bed, you’re thinking of him,” said Susan Holling, his grandmother. “You wake up, you’re thinking of him.”
She spoke to Black Pressalongside Jordan’s mother and father – Andrea and Morgan Holling – at her Campbell River home.
These days, when posters of Jordan are shared online, people sometimes comment incorrectly that he’s already been found, Andrea said. It’s a rumour the family is anxious to dispel.
“We’re still looking for our son,” said Andrea. “He’s still missing.”
|The Campbell River community gathered for a candlelight vigil for Jordan Holling and his family following his disappearance last October. File photo/Black Press|
Jordan was 17 years old when he vanished from the streets of Campbell River last year in the early hours of Oct. 16. His parents recalled that he worked late that night at an A&W in the downtown area. The late shift meant he missed his father’s birthday party.
After his shift, Jordan went to a friend’s house near Hwy. 19 in the Campbellton neighbourhood.
“He was just going to go be with his friends, stay the night and [go] back to work the next day,” said Morgan. “That was the plan, that was the last we talked.”
Jordan left sometime between 1 and 2 a.m. for his mother’s home, located a short distance away.
But he didn’t make it, and didn’t show up for work the next day.
“I just knew right away something wasn’t right, because Jordan wouldn’t miss work,” Andrea said. “We went up to the police station right away and filed a missing person report.”
The only sign of Jordan since then was video surveillance footage recorded at around 2 a.m. on the night of his disappearance, according to family members.
In the video, Jordan is seen walking north on a southbound stretch of Hwy. 19, Morgan and Andrea said – they viewed the footage with police. His skateboard later turned up nearby.
Morgan said he’s certain that his son – who was looking forward to a career in computer technology – didn’t run away.
“He didn’t take off and do something on his own accord,” said Morgan. “Something happened to him.”
Members of Jordan’s family say that community support has been indispensable during a heartbreaking year.
Hundreds of people were involved in searches, including members of Campbell River Search and Rescue and volunteers from the general public who went door-to-door and put up posters.
At one point, someone reportedly tried to print posters at Staples but found that every photocopier was already in use – printing Jordan’s poster.
People combed the area on ATVs, on horseback and by foot. Members of the community also held a prayer vigil for Jordan at Spirit Square and prepared meals for the family and volunteers. Susan said the meals kept coming for several months.
A year later, Jordan’s family wants to extend their thanks to everyone who helped, including family members, co-workers and total strangers.
“Everyday I’m grateful,” said Andrea. “If I could thank each person personally, I would. I just don’t know who a lot of them are.”
Susan echoed that gratitude but said the attention is too much sometimes.
“People will come up to you and say, ‘I know you, I was on the search for Jordan. How are you doing? Can I give you a hug?’” she said. “Some days you just don’t want a hug.”
It’s one of the ways their lives have changed – a new normal in the wake of Jordan’s disappearance.
While some online commenters have questioned the police investigation into Jordan’s case, family members affirmed their faith in efforts by the Mounties.
“The RCMP is doing everything that can be done, and we fully support them and stand behind them,” said Andrea.
She said that police had to send his laptop to Vancouver because Jordan had encrypted it, but they didn’t find any clues.
|Jordan Holling hasn't been seen since the early hours of Oct. 16, 2017, when surveillance cameras spotted him near Hwy. 19.|
His cellphone records didn’t reveal anything, and police are currently waiting for enough time to elapse before investigators are allowed to access Jordan’s Facebook account due to privacy restrictions, according to Andrea and Morgan.
“From what we know, they’re doing everything they can with what they have, which isn’t much,” Morgan said.
Sgt. Dave Johnson of the Campbell River RCMP, who supervises uniformed police officers in Campbell River, told the Mirror the case remains a high priority.
“At this point, the investigation is still continuing,” said Johnson. “It’s an open, active investigation on a missing youth.”
He said the RCMP’s regional authority, the Island District – which encompasses Vancouver Island, surrounding islands and the northern part of the Sunshine Coast – is aware of the case.
At this point, a break in the case would likely come from a tipster, Johnson said. He renewed a plea for members of the public to come forward.
Each tip is investigated, he said, adding that people can go through the CrimeStoppers tip line if they’re uncomfortable speaking directly to the police.
Staff Sgt. Troy Beauregard, operations commander for the Campbell River RCMP, added that investigators are in regular contact with members of Jordan’s family.
Police have also been speaking with the local search and rescue association to discuss possible next steps in the investigation, Beauregard said.
For Sayde Coffill, a close friend of Jordan’s, the past year has been agonizing. But she’s hopeful that someone will come forward with information about Jordan’s case.
For a long time, she kept looking at her phone, expecting to see a text from the young man she described as her best friend.
“It doesn’t really get easier,” she said. “You just kind of get more used to the empty space in the day where he used to be.”
She recalled long days and all-nighters the pair spent together, often stargazing in the fields after skateboarding or wandering around town.
|In June, Sayde Coffill got a tattoo in dedication of Jordan Holling that includes Saturn and other celestial objects hovering over an image of her friend. Photos courtesy Sayde Coffill|
After Jordan disappeared, Coffill paid tribute to him with a tattoo that includes Saturn and other celestial objects hovering over an image of her friend.
Her tattoo also features the Scorpius constellation – Scorpio is Jordan’s birth sign, and its shape resembles the letter J – although Coffill said Jordan would probably tease her about it.
“He doesn’t really do horoscopes or anything like that,” Coffill said.
Coffill said she’s always on the lookout for signs of Jordan, and she urged people to keep the hope alive.
“Someone knows something,” said Coffill. “Everyone just has to keep hope.”
More than 6,000 people belong to a Facebook group dedicated to the search for Jordan.
The group, administered over the past year by Morgan’s two sisters and other volunteers, includes downloadable posters and other resources. It also includes banking information for anyone who wants to donate to Jordan’s family.
Jordan is described as a Caucasian male who wears glasses with black frames. He’s five-foot-eleven and 145 pounds, with hazel eyes.
At the time of his disappearance, his dark brown hair was short and he was wearing a long-sleeved grey sweater, black pants and red-and-black shoes.
His grandmother Susan urged people to bring to light any information they may have, no matter how small.
“Come forward,” she said. “Even if you think it’s the littlest thing, it’s amazing what it can do.”