Phyllis Fleury was living in a motel in Prince George in 2018, seven years sober.
Her 16-year-old son Colten was just returned to her out of government care. He had behavioural issues and crystal meth problems, but now he was back with his mother.
|Colten Fleury (RCMP photo)|
Phyllis says he “was pissed off with the world,” and he asked a social worker in front of his mother if he would get his family allowance.
“The social worker said ‘we are not at that point yet,’” Phyllis told The Progress on Friday. “They were returning him to my care. I’ve been seven years sober and I’m wondering, why do they want to hold on to Colten’s money?”
That was May 2, 2018 in that motel room.
“The next morning at 7 a.m. he walked out the door and I never saw him again.”
Colten is 18 now, he’ll be 19 on Oct. 24, 2020, and while it’s entirely possible he doesn’t want to be found, Phyllis has never given up searching.
She says the Prince George RCMP tell her they don’t think he ever left town. She’s spent time in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside where he’s been spotted, and Phyllis is worried he got caught up with bad people and was being used as a drug mule. Or worse.
But her most recent search has brought here to the Fraser Valley. She says she’s had messages that he’s been spotted in Abbotsford, and her search brought her to Chilliwack, and specifically to the Chilliwack Landing Skatepark.
“I heard he might have been at a Tim Hortons in Abbotsford,” she said. “On my way to Abbotsford we stopped in Chilliwack at the skate park. We put up a poster up and an elderly lady said ‘he looks familiar, I know I’ve seen him but I don’t know where.’”
A manager at a local Tim Hortons said he looked familiar too so she took a poster.
Chasing every tiny lead, every tip, every rumour that someone has seen Colten, is wearing on Phyllis because she doesn’t know what to believe.
“I’ve got messages on my Facebook saying that he looks healthy, he’s OK, and other people say that he’s on heroin. I just don’t know what to believe. I’ve not heard from him.”
Phyllis has a Facebook page, “Help Find Colten Therrin Fleury” that she uses to receive tips.
And Phyllis has been led astray in the past.
In August 2018 she got a call from someone claiming to be the Vancouver police, and claiming that they had Colten. The caller said they’d found Colten hanging from a tree in a schoolyard.
“Everything in my body just went numb. I just can’t describe it,” Phyllis said. “All I could say was, ‘Where?’”
But it turned out to be a disturbing joke.
“I don’t know if he is hiding or paying off a debt for drugs, but I want to know that he is OK and I will send money for his food so that he can eat,” she said back in 2018.
Now in 2020, Phyllis feels the police have given up helping her. The file has been passed to the RCMP’s serious crimes unit, but she says they don’t get back to her. She said Prince George RCMP don’t think he left the city, Vancouver police say they don’t have the file, same in Surrey.
“I’ve had 70 sightings and one of them has to be him,” she said on July 17. “I’m out there searching and doing the groundwork all by myself. Basically, I’m doing their job for them.”
Despite how long it has been, the rumours, the lack of help she feels she is getting from police, with the recent tips about sightings in Abbotsford and Chilliwack, she is back looking.
“That kind of put my hopes up again.”
Anyone with information on Colten’s whereabouts is asked to call Prince George RCMP at 250-561-3300 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
– with files from Ashley Wadhwani
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