MARCUS MAURY MCKAY – ENDANGERED MISSING July 15, 2000 – CMCC000023LTWH – UPDATED 08.14.2013
MARCUS MAURY MCKAY
Marcus Maury McKay
Date of Birth: February 6, 1992
Native American Male
Height: 4’5” Weight: 77 lbs
Hair: Brown Eyes: Brown
Missing: July 15, 2000 From: Mallard, Manitoba
Distinguishing Features: Marcus has protruding upper teeth.
On the day that Marcus disappeared, he had gone hunting with his stepfather, Rilley Chartrand, and 3 others. At some point, Marcus and his stepfather broke away from the group and were able to kill a deer. Marcus, wearing only a T-Shirt and jeans, offered to stay with the deer while Chartrand went to round up the others. When the group returned to the deer, an hour later, Marcus was nowhere to be found.
Marcus, his mother, Darlene Dumas, and Chartrand had recently moved to Mallard from Winnipeg because Marcus, who was a little hyperactive, started to hang around with the wrong crowd and began leaving home without permission.
The search efforts to locate Marcus exploded almost immediately after the boy was reported missing, resulting in the largest search effort in Manitoba history. Hundreds of volunteers flocked to the site to help wade through the thick, swampy bush, calling the young boy’s name. The terrain in the area only complicated the search and made it exponentially more difficult to navigate. It is a very swampy, wet area, with thick dense bush. One volunteer described how he could only see within a meter wide radius while trudging through more than a half meter of water, and the volunteers were reinforcing their footwear with duct tape. During the night, volunteers gathered around a large bonfire, keeping it going in hopes of attracting Marcus’ attention. A helicopter with infrared radar and two spotter planes joined the search, and as the days passed by, more and more people and resources were used in the hope of finding Marcus alive. 11 different search and rescue teams assisted in the search for Marcus, and Manitoba Hydro offered the use of 3 amphibious vehicles. Next it was the army to join the search. The search was grueling, and many volunteers searched until their bodies were racked with exhaustion. Marcus’ mother, Darlene Dumas, made a plea for more volunteers to relieve the initial ones. By this time, there were over 400 volunteers involved in the search efforts. Dumas was grateful to all of the volunteers who were looking for her son with as much passion as if he were their own. The aboriginal community pulled together in such a massive effort that it overwhelmed many with emotion.
Along with volunteers, thousands of dollars in donations of food and water were used to feed the massive group looking for the young boy. Bedding was donated for the volunteers that were spending the nights out in the swamp, stoking the fires, and holding out hope that Marcus would soon be found. As the search for Marcus peaked, there were 600 volunteers out there each day searching for Marcus, and incredible amount of people.
As the time passed, and no sign of Marcus was found, authorities and the community began to raise the possibility of foul play.
On the 21st of July, RCMP officials called off the official mission to rescue Marcus. At that point, it switched from a rescue mission, to a recovery mission. The authorities believe that Marcus was absolutely deceased at that point, whether through foul play, or through the inability to survive the natural elements of the rugged area without any gear, or supplies to keep him alive. The efforts were scaled back, and the resources were cut off. Police still provided assistance to Marcus’ family, and the volunteers who stayed, in the search for his body. In an effort to recover Marcus’ remains, RCMP divers waded through creeks and a beaver pond hoping to find Marcus, but were unable to turn anything up. In one final effort to locate Marcus’ body, volunteers were pulled from the area for 24 hours to eliminate as much human scent as possible before going in with cadaver dogs to try and find Marcus. This too, turned up absolutely nothing.
Marcus’ father, Maury McKay, was in the bush every day after his son went missing, and continued to search long after official’s called the search off. McKay was devastated by his son’s disappearance and his pain was palpable. “We should have had him the first night. We had a bunch of local guys willing to go in. The police were worried about maps, worried about people getting lost.” McKay stated that his son would not starve to death, there are plenty of berries out there, but he knew his son would be scared, which would make even an adult’s actions unpredictable. McKay would spend the nights in the weeks after his sons disappearance wandering through the brush alone, calling Marcus’ name.
Law enforcement began to put their efforts toward investigating the disappearance of Marcus, and looking into all possibilities of what could have happened. They did question Chartrand and the other hunters regarding what happened on the day of the trip earlier in the investigation, but did not consider anyone a person of interest in the beginning when the hope of Marcus being found alive was still there. It turns out, that Chartrand was under a court order not to be in possession of firearms when Marcus disappeared. 5 years before that fatal hunting trip, Chartrand was convicted of assault and uttering threats, in which his sentence included the court order. Chartrand stated that the reason he was carrying a rifle that day was simple, “I was brought up to hunt, to live off the bush.” Police stated that Chartrand was not a suspect in Marcus’ disappearance on several occasions, in hopes of quieting some of the chatter within the community that was pointing fingers at him. Chartrand defended leaving Marcus alone, claiming that the boy was simply too tired to trek around looking for the others. However, he has also expressed the sorrow and guilt he carries for making that decision.
Trouble and anger began to brew within Marcus’ family itself as the two week mark of his disappearance drew near. The family was angry that Chartrand left Marcus out there alone, and angry at Dumas for defending Chartrand. Dumas’ brother, Paul Dumas, who was actually hunting with Marcus and Chartrand on the day Marcus disappeared, was so angry about what happened, that he refused to even speak with his sister. While the family concedes that it can at times be difficult to get Marcus to do what he was told, there is still no excuse for leaving him alone. “I would have picked him up and carried him.”, claimed one relative.
In December of 2000, Chartrand and Duma moved back to Winnipeg to escape the rumors that Chartrand was responsible for Marcus’ probable death. Chartrand had admitted to taking several polygraph exams regarding Marcus’ disappearance, and admitted to failing two of them. Authorities did not officially comment on this. Chartrand’s father, who was the mayor of Mallard at the time, resigned due to the controversy.
There is so much mystery surrounding Marcus’ disappearance that it makes it difficult for anyone to say one way or another what happened. Marcus essentially vanished without a trace. There was never even a single piece of evidence found. It is difficult to understand how something like this could happen. Little boys are not supposed to vanish into thin air. While finding Marcus alive is always the hope, it is a sad reality that when Marcus is found, it will be his remains that are recovered. Until Marcus is brought home and laid to rest, we will continue to shine our lights on him. Every child deserves peace, and we will be here until Marcus receives his.
If you have any information regarding the disappearance of Marcus Maury McKay, please immediately contact the Winnipeg RCMP at:
The National Center For Missing & Exploited Children at: