Mother keeping missing son in spotlight
Instead of presents and a cake, the 25th birthday of Lucas Degerness was marked by a candlelight vigil on Monday evening – but his mother remains hopeful the mystery surrounding his disappearance will be solved and they will one day be reunited. —
In the meantime, Gina Degerness continues to beat the drum.
“Keep it fresh, keep it in people’s minds,” she said in an interview prior to the vigil which was held at the courthouse. “And pray and hope I get some kind of resolution, whatever it may be.”
Her son has not been seen since June 7, 2007. Then 14 years old, the student at Prince George secondary school and his mother had met with the school’s vice principal earlier that day. The meeting ended with Lucas appearing to be in a good mood and off to his next class. But he did not arrive. “I can pretty much pinpoint what he did for that first week in June, to about June 14, 2007,” his mother said. “I know where he spent at least four or five nights, where he slept at. And then he dropped off the face of the earth.”
Lucas had been a handful. The family had moved to Edmonton where Gina hoped to get a better job and establish a more stable home life. But when she discovered he wanted to join a gang in that city, they quickly moved back to Prince George.
“He never wanted to leave Prince George, he wanted to stay here,” Gina said.
Gina acknowledged he might still have gone on to pursue a life of crime but even if that’s the case, she still wants to get to the bottom of where he may be and what has happened to him, if only to get closure.
“If he’s gone, I need to know,” she said. “This is a horrible limbo.”
The Canadian Centre for Child Protection has taken on the case and has helped keep his disappearance in people’s memories, including issuing an ageenhanced illustration of Lucas showing what he probably looked like five years after he went missing.
She also noted that many of his friends from the time are now young parents.
“Maybe enough time has passed that they’re willing to fess up if they know of any harm that’s come to my son,” Gina said.
She also stressed her son should not be confused with Lucas Switzer, who remains alive and living in Prince George and is well known to the police and courts. They’re the same age, have the same name and they look remarkably alike, Gina said.
Anyone with a tip on what has happened to her son is asked to contact the CCCP at 1-866-KID-TIPS (543-8477) or MissingKids. ca online or Prince George RCMP at 250561-3300.
Tips can also be left anonymously through Prince George Crime Stoppers,1-800-222-8477 or pgcrimestoppers.bc.ca.