Justin Pollari has been missing since Dec. 7, 2001. He’s 18 years old now, a man, or at least a man in the eyes of the law.
But to his family he’s still a boy, a tow-headed boy with blue eyes, albeit with a six-inch mohawk dyed black, who went missing from his home in Hilton Beach on St. Joseph’s Island just outside Saulte Ste. Marie just before Christmas.
And even though he’s probably outgrown the presents his parents would have purchased for him back then, he’s the son they still hope will one day come back home.
Ed Pellerin is the Ontario Provincial Police detective constable still looking into the case, nearly four years after Justin went missing. He’s partnered with the detective constable originally involved in the investigation, and has been reviewing the case since receiving a tip from a gas station attendant in Saulte Ste. Marie who said he thought he saw Justin getting into a Quik X truck there.
Apparently the sighting occurred around the time that Justin first disappeared.
“But we didn’t hear about it until a few months ago,” said Pellerin. “That’s why we contacted you.”
Police have seen neither hide nor hair of Justin since he disappeared, which gives them, and his family, some hope that he will one day return home.
“The family just wants closure, and so do we,” said Pellerin.
“Obviously, he doesn’t have to come home and the police certainly can’t force him to, because he’s an adult now. But we’re hoping that someone will see him and give him the message that his family still wants to know he’s okay.”
Justin was last seen wearing dark blue or black baggy pants, a dark blue or black hooded sweater, and a black toque over his six inch mohawk.
He was also wearing red and burgundy running shoes.Born Jan. 31, 1987, he stood 5’9 and weighed approximately 140 lbs.
Of course much may have changed about him now, especially when it comes to his more mature appearance, which an electronically enhanced photo on the Child Find web site at www.childfind.ca tries to capture.
But as far as his mother is concerned, he’s probably still her little boy. And Justin, if you’re out there, she wants you to let her know you’re okay.