His parents have returned to search the mountain month after month.
On Monday (May 27) Ryan Hillaby was assisting the Shtukas, using a drone to map out and photograph multiple locations around Sun Peaks.
“We’ve committed a full seven-day week of flying time to come out and see what we can find and develop some plans and hopefully try and help the family get some closure,” Hillaby said.
Hillaby reached out to Shtuka’s parents last fall to discuss the drone search.
“I think it’s one of the best tools that we could utilize right now,” Scott Shtuka said. “Obviously, on the mountain, a little bit off the mountain, searching areas that we’ve had of interest that are really hard to get to, and with that equipment that he’s got it’s going to make things easier, for sure.”
When Ryan was last seen on February 17, 2018 he was wearing a burgundy ball cap.
Hillaby is hoping that cap will be in the photographs.
“Our focus is to look for colours on the map using some software that’s been developed by Shane Michaels with Wings of Mercy,” Hillaby said.
The software will scour the photo for colours matching Ryan Shtuka’s hat.
“It sort of helps to pinpoint it, where we should be looking, or any other indicators, as far as clothing he was wearing that’s what we would hope to search for with these photos,” Hillaby said.
Scott Shtuka is hopeful this new software will lead him closer to his son.
“With the technology of this equipment that we have right now, even from last year until now, how it’s evolved is huge. And you guys have seen first hand with the footage you’ve taken today that it’s pretty amazing stuff.”
The Shtukas have committed to returning to Sun Peaks once a month until they find Ryan and they will use every tool available to them.
The drone and its advancing technology is just one more resource providing a little hope.