'My family never gave up hope': Cody Ridge Wolfe's remains finally found after nine years
REGINA -- After more than nine years, the remains of 17 year-old, Cody Ridge Wolfe remains have been found.
“I feel like there is a sense of relief and a lot of strong emotion,” said Wolfe’s cousin, Jessica LaPlante, who held back tears standing near where he was found. “My family never gave up hope. Every year they never gave up hope and they never stopped speaking Cody’s name.”
On Grid Road 639, just a three-minute drive north of the town of Lestock, Wolfe’s remains were found on May 7. There were on an island in a large body of water near the same area where he went missing in Muskowekwan First Nation in April of 2011. Two male youths from the First Nation were using a paddle boat to look for goose eggs and decided to go to the island and came across the remains.
Cody Wolfe's remains were found on this island (Creeson Agecoutay / CTV News Regina)
The RCMP’s Historical Case Unit South was deployed and an autopsy was conducted by a forensic pathologist. They confirmed the remains belonged to Wolfe. The RCMP says, based on information gathered during the investigation and the autopsy, Wolfe’s death is not considered suspicious.
“The night he went missing, it was a very stormy night at the end of April, high winds, rain, cold. We will probably never know exactly what happened,” said Myrna LaPlante, Wolfe’s aunt.
Family couldn’t find Wolfe
Wolfe went missing on the evening of April 29, 2011. At the time Wolfe was visiting his grandmother and went to visit his friends at a nearby trailer home. It is believed he may have lost his way and became disoriented from the cold temperatures while walking down the flooded 639 road. The body of water in the area grew larger during the big flood of 2011, washing out the 639.
“He probably ended up in that body of water. It was after midnight and he was texting his friend. He probably got disorientated perhaps and the battery on his phone was dying. He was telling his friend to flick the lights on and off so he would know where to go,” Myrna said.
Extensive searches were done on foot, horseback, boat and ATV by Wolfe’s family members, the Muskowekwan First Nation community members, Carry The Kettle Nakoda Nation community members and the Saskatchewan RCMP. The Yorktown Forensic Identification Section, RCMP Forensic Collision Recinstructionists, RCMP Underwater Recovery Team, Ottawa Valley and Alberta Search and Rescue Dog Associations, RCMP Major Crime, Dr. Ernie Walker an RCMP Forensic Pathologist and the RCMP Search and Rescue also helped to look for Wolfe.
The RCMP says the area where Wolfe’s remains were found was submerged over the years and only recently became exposed as water levels dropped. A new 639 road has been built and winds around much of the water and the previous washed out road. People from Muskowekwan and local farmers also live just yards away from where Wolfe’s remains were found.
In a statement on Facebook, Amber Wolfe, Cody’s sister said it wasn’t the ending the family was hoping for.
“The wondering has now come to an end. I’d like to thank Lloyd Goodwill and the search team from Carry The Kettle Nakoda Nation who has helped us for so many years and people from the surrounding reserves and Muskowekwan First Nation who took the time to come and help search,” she wrote. “Kim Cooper and her team, Punnichy RCMP and also Major Crimes for also joining and helping search for my brother Cody. For anyone else who has helped my family searching, thank you. It does mean a lot to us.”
The family is now making funeral arrangements and Wolfe will be buried in his home of Muskowekwan First Nation next Wednesday.
“It leaves a big a hole in our family unit. Cody was such a really nice, quiet kid. He loved music, going outside and riding on the quad and skidoo. He was much loved by his family, his friends and his friends at school,” Myrna said.