The mother of 21-year-old UBC international student Louis Gonick, who has been missing since mid-April, made a heartfelt plea for his safe return on Thursday.
Lupe Carrera appeared at a press conference in Vancouver with RCMP officers, who provided an update on their investigation into the disappearance of Gonick.
“Louis, you are the greatest gift life has given me,” said Carrera in Spanish, speaking through a translator. “Nothing and no one can replace you.”
Gonick was last seen by a friend near Vancouver’s UBC campus on Sunday, April 16. He was reported missing on Monday, April 17.
RCMP Staff Sgt. Annie Linteau told reporters police have interviewed a number of witnesses, and checked Gonick’s bank and phone records, but to no avail.
Police also learned this week that the last contact anyone had with the exchange student was the driver of the cab that Gonick hailed on the evening of Sunday, April 16.
Gonick specifically asked to be dropped off at the entrance to the Stanley Park Causeway at 7:32 pm, which the cab driver did, Linteau said.
There has been an “extensive land and sea” search around that particular area for the missing student, but without any luck thus far.
The young man’s disappearance is “certainly out of character,” Linteau said. “There was no indication that something like this was going to occur.”
She added that police are continuing to follow up on things like Gonick’s “phone, bank, and social media activity,” as well as further scouring of the area where he was last seen.
At this point, “there’s no evidence he has met with foul play,” added Linteau.
But she added this is still “obviously a very tragic circumstance,” and urged anyone who may know anything about the case to contact police if they haven’t done so already.
Through her tears, Carrera had a simple message for her son.
“From the bottom of our hearts we love you and we are waiting for you,” she said. “Please come back.”
Anyone with further information about the whereabouts of Gonick is asked to contact the RCMP at 604-224-1322 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS. File# 2017-1131.