Widow holds out hope Ucluelet homicides will be solved

The investigation into the deaths of two missing men remains active more than a year after their bodies were found in a wooded area near Ucluelet.

Daniel Archbald, of Squamish, and Ryan Daley, of Jordan River, were last seen at the Ucluelet Small Craft Harbour after returning from an eight-week sailing trip to Panama.

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They docked May 13, 2018. and were seen on surveillance camera leaving the harbour on foot three days later, possibly planning to hitch a ride to Daley’s property in Jordan River.

Aerial and ground searches failed to locate the men, and the case was eventually deemed suspicious and turned over to the Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit.

Two bodies were discovered in a wooded area near Ucluelet about a month later.

The bodies were eventually identified as those of Archbald, 37 and Daley, 43.

Archbald was a husband and father of two young girls.

Daley was adventurous and loved high-adrenaline sports such as surfing and mountain biking. He made headlines in 2011 when he put his Squamish home — and his life — up for sale.

He said at the time the $1 million would buy his home, his 1990 Porsche and all the tools needed to take over his profession as a cabinet maker.

This week, RCMP Sgt. Janelle Shoihet said there were no updates on the case, adding law enforcement continues to seek information from the public.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Vancouver confirmed in early July last year that it was assisting the RCMP in its investigation into the deaths.

“DEA has 92 foreign offices in 70 countries, and we routinely assist and collaborate with our international law enforcement partners sharing critical intelligence information,” U.S. Department of Justice spokesperson Jodie Underwood said when asked at the time why the DEA would be helping with a case in B.C.

This week, the DEA spokesperson said it is a Canadian investigation and referred inquiries to Shoihet.

Meanwhile, Archbald’s widow, Leah Bliss, said she has faith in law enforcement.

“I am confident the police are doing everything they can to catch the person or people who did this,” she said in an email.

“I have always felt that whoever could do such a thing is already lost. Although I would like to see them caught so they can never do this to anyone else, for myself, it will give me no solace — it will never bring Dan back.”

Bliss said she is focused on her daughters and is trying to get used to life without her partner.

“I pray wherever Dan is he has found peace: that his spirit can help to guide and protect his daughters as they continue to grow and develop on their own paths. They are such beautiful little girls,” she said.

“There isn’t a day that goes by where we don’t think about Dan and all that we’ve lost. It’s part of our story now.

“But there is still a lot of life and love and we are trying our best to think about all that we have and not all that we have lost. It’s not easy. I see Dan and our loss in everything around me, but it’s what we have to do. Concentrate on the future, not the past.”

Bliss said she is grateful for the support the family has received from the community.

“We are so thankful to have lived in a place with so many good people.”

Anyone with information about the homicides can contact their local police, the Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

— With a file from the Times Colonist

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