Missing man's family pleads for help two years after disappearance
Published Wednesday, March 27, 2013 4:23PM EDT
Police issued a fresh plea for help Wednesday in their search for a Toronto man who went missing two years ago today.
Stephen Lapowich, 30, was last seen March 27, 2011 when he boarded a flight to Miami in Toronto. Police say he was travelling to Puerto Rico for a vacation. Investigators say he arrived in Puerto Rico, but disappeared after leaving the airport.
At a news conference Wednesday, police said they are now turning their efforts toward publicizing the disappearance through social media channels in the hopes of finding someone who knows something about Lapowich’s disappearance.
“We are working collaboratively with the family to make use of social media networks, including Crime Stoppers, Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus and YouTube to create awareness of the disappearance not only in Toronto, but throughout the Unites States,” said Detective Constable Clayton White.
White also said Lapowich’s family has now hired a retired Toronto police officer to travel to Puerto Rico to try find out more.
Lapowich’s mother also spoke at the new conference, appealing to flight attendants in particular to help find her son.
“I know that you travel the world and many times you have two and three day layovers,” Gayle Lapowich said. “If you download a picture of Stephen and just keep your eyes open I’d appreciate it so much.”
She described her son as a caring individual, sensitive to the needs of others who wouldn’t let his family wonder where he was.
She said family gatherings serve as a constant reminder of her son’s absence.
“Holidays, birthdays, family dinners, when my young grandchildren are there…. These are the times that are the hardest to get through, as well as late at night,” she said.
The Lapowich family is also offering a reward of up to $30,000 for information that helps locate Stephen. Anyone with information must contact Toronto investigators directly in order to claim the reward.
Lapowich was 28 when he disappeared.
He is described as a white male standing five-foot-nine and weighing 169 pounds, with a medium build, short brown hair and blue eyes.
Anyone with information is asked to call Toronto police or call Crime Stoppers anonymously.
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