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‘This is a devastating nightmare’: Niece searches Vancouver Island for missing Saanich man

Ben Fournier, 62, was last seen on surveillance footage April 16 in Mill Bay
The family of missing Saanich man Bernard “Ben” Fournier asks people in the area he was last seen – April 16 walking south on Mill Bay Road – to check buildings and surveillance footage. (Courtesy Shawnigan RCMP)

Renee Darling’s new life involves driving up and down Vancouver Island in a desperate search for her uncle.

Bernard Fournier, known as Ben to friends and family, was last seen enjoying weekly Sunday brunch with his buddies in Greater Victoria on April 16.

The 62-year-old man was reported missing to Saanich police on April 22 with his car discovered in a Mill Bay parking lot the next day.

Darling is desperate to find the man who gives the best hugs and greets everyone with a smile.

“I’m waiting for him to walk through the front door at any minute. My life consists of searching for answers or clues, trying to piece together how to maintain his house and bills, driving up and down the Island physically searching for him,” Darling told Black Press Media.

He’s a significant part of her life, and her son’s life. “Ben’s a huge part of all his loved ones’ lives. We all miss his smile, his laugh, and sitting down having a cold beer with him.”

RELATED: Shawnigan Lake police take over missing Saanich man search after car found

Fournier has lived in Greater Victoria for more than 40 years, opening information technology company Dayteck Business Solutions 34 years ago. Darling describes him as a man everyone could count on, who wears his heart on his sleeve.

“Whether those sleeves were clean, rolled up, or non-existent, he was always giving everything he could to his friends, family and community,” she said. “It didn’t matter what time you called him, he was going to be there. He would be there to pull you out of your darkest times, and any excuse to celebrate your victories.”

Shawnigan Lake RCMP said surveillance video shows Fournier walking southbound in the 2700-block of Mill Bay Road on April 16 between 5:30 and 6 p.m. Darling hopes people in the area around that time will check security footage and dash cameras for any potential leads.

“Keep your eyes open for him. If you had arrangements, met him, saw him or had any contact with him please speak out,” she said.

Family friend Measha Gallagher started an online fundraiser to help maintain Fournier’s life in anticipation of his return.

“My heart goes out to all the families and friends who have missing people in their lives. This is a devastating nightmare. I urge you to contact your local MLAs, there needs to be more accessibility for help and services for family members and local authorities to do whatever’s needed to find and bring our loved ones home,” Darling said.

Fournier is 6’1” with a medium build and short, grey hair. He was last seen wearing glasses, blue jeans, a grey or brown T-shirt, grey or black running shoes and a dark vest. Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Shawnigan Lake RCMP at 250-743-5514.


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Christine van Reeuwyk

About the Author: Christine van Reeuwyk

I'm dedicated to serving the community of Oak Bay as a senior journalist with the Greater Victoria news team.
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