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New podcast investigates disappearance of Michael Dunahee from Victoria playground

Series promises previously unheard stories, details from notorious 1991 case, podcaster says
Michael Dunahee, then age four, went missing from a Victoria playground on March 24, 1991. A new podcast, Missing Michael, investigates what may have happened then and what was transpired since. (Black Press Media file photo)

Victoria residents may hear details and stories about the 1991 disappearance of Michael Dunahee they never have before, in a new true crime podcast.

The third season in Island-resident Laura Palmer’s podcast series Island Crime, Missing Michael tells the story of a four-year-old Victoria boy who went missing from a playground more than 30 years ago without a trace.

Michael’s name is one Victoria residents know well. His parents, Crystal and Bruce Dunahee, and younger sister, Caitlin Dunahee, have spent every year since his disappearance working to figure out what may have happened to him on March 24, 1991, and wondering if he could still be alive.

Speaking with Black Press Media, Palmer said when she was considering looking into Michael’s disappearance, she wondered if there was anything new she could bring to more than 30 years of local, national and even international media coverage. But, as she began speaking with Crystal and poking around, Palmer said she realized many people’s stories had never been told and no one had ever compiled all the information together before.

“And so that’s, I think, what people will hear in Missing Michael,” she said. “You’ll hear a lot of people who know and love Michael that haven’t told their stories before.”

READ ALSO: Michael Dunahee case remains unsolved after 25 years

Episode 1, already released, opens with audio of four-year-old Michael from old home videos. There’s audio of him meeting his baby sister at the hospital for the first time, opening gifts on Christmas morning, and building a snowman with his dad. As the episode progresses, listeners hear from Crystal and Bruce, and Michael’s childhood best friend.

In the episodes to come, listeners will hear the stories of some of the people who were present when Michael went missing – some of Crystal’s flag football teammates, and a boy who was riding his bicycle nearby – his family members, and the detectives who have worked his case over the years.

“I speak with people who believe they witnessed important information,” Palmer said.

She’ll also name a number of police suspects, who she has some information to corroborate cases against, and describe several others.

The lead investigator on Michael’s case since 2018, Det. Sgt. Michelle Robertson, told Palmer they wouldn’t be surprised if the person responsible for Michael’s disappearance is already among their list of suspects, she said. Palmer is hopeful her podcast will help to narrow that list.

Although she’s completed the 10-episode series, she’s still receiving regular tips and conducting more interviews. “If I think there’s even a chance it might be relevant, I’m going to talk to them,” Palmer said.

Episode 2 of Missing Michael comes out Jan. 25. Any tips about his disappearance can be submitted on the Victoria Police Department website at

READ ALSO: New sketch marks 30th anniversary of Michael Dunahee’s disappearance

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About the Author: Jane Skrypnek

Hi, I'm a provincial reporter with Black Press Media, where I've worked since 2020.
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