Tonya Kilmer, wife Ben Kilmer makes a plea to the public to continue looking for her missing husband at the RCMP Island District in Victoria a few months ago. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)

Tonya Kilmer grieves for husband, thanks community for support

“I never knew that I could or would ever feel pain like this,” Ben Kilmer’s widow Tonya shared on the Find Ben Kilmer Facebook Page at 8 a.m. Wednesday morning.

It was Oct. 17 that she learned her husband was never coming home and it took some time to process.

SEE RELATED: BREAKING: Family confirms Ben Kilmer found dead

“Since Ben went missing, I’ve said that it would be too unbearable to find him if he wasn’t still alive. Some might call this knowing, closure. I described it as ‘an eternity missing and longing for my love and my soul mate back, the father of my children.’ I realized, in an attempt to process this reality, that even though my hope is gone, knowing that Ben will no longer come home to us, a lifetime of agony and wondering only to leave to the same result would be worse.”

Tonya said she received the news from North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP at 9 p.m. when Staff Sgt. Kurt Bosnell and Const. Scott Harder came to her door.

“The officers said, ‘We promised you that you would be the first to know. We received a call at 2 p.m. today. Ben had been found. He is no longer with us. ‘His body was found by a man in the remote area of the Cowichan Valley, near the Chemainus River. We have been with Ben all day and we will go out there again tomorrow at the break of dawn. We would not be here unless we were sure that this was Ben and out of respect for you, we had to let you know right away.”

Vancouver Island RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Tammy Douglas said foul play has been ruled out and that the area Kilmer’s body was found was “well outside of the original search area.”

Comments of love and heartbreak flooded the post on the Find Ben Kilmer site.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help Tonya with an education fund for the couple’s two children. https://ca.gofundme.com/kilmer-children-education-fund

To read Tonya Kilmer’s emotional announcement in full:

The family of Ben Kilmer issued the following statement on the discovery of his body.

“We are heartbroken to confirm that our beloved Ben Kilmer was found on October 17, 2018, in a remote area of Duncan, British Columbia.

Since May 16, 2018, we as a community have searched and prayed for Ben’s safe return. We want to express our gratitude now for the immense love and support from across Vancouver Island by the Province of British Columbia and well beyond those borders. Our community rallied behind us for five months to comb through dense wilderness; put up more than 100,000 posters; donate time, funds, and resources; and contribute heartfelt energy to finding Ben.

It is our sincere wish that every person who was involved feels the value of that effort.

There are no words to fully convey what this has meant to us, but we thank you with all our hearts.

We want to acknowledge the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (especially RCMP members Cst Scott Harder, Staff Sgt Kurt Bosnell, Cst Jennifer Morgan, Cst Ville Lempenin, Chief Superintendent Sean Sullivan, and Cpl Tammy Douglas) for their remarkable dedication and service.

We also wish to thank Cowichan Search and Rescue, Search and Rescue British Columbia, WestJet, the Canada Search and Disaster Dogs Association, Dave Hastie and Keith Duncan, Chris and Leigh Davies, countless printing companies (including Midisland Ink Depot, Tyler McLoughlin and his team at Better Print Victoria, Staples Canada, Copycat Printing and Design, Oak Bay Copy, Sooke Fax and Copy Centre, among others), Coast Outdoor Advertising, Ltd., Greg and Cody Adams at Sunfest Country Music Festival, many island stores and restaurants who donated supplies and refreshments, Graeme and Stacey Delousignan and the team at Canada Post, Shane Michaels at Winds of Mercy, media outlets who spread awareness of Ben’s story, and of course the thousands of volunteers and search parties who poured hours into this effort.

Details for a private memorial will be shared with Ben’s loved ones. Anyone wishing to share their condolences with the family may do so on our Facebook page, find Ben Kilmer. For those who would like to honour Ben through a donation in memory, an education fund will be established for his two young children via GoFundMe (https://ca.gofundme.com/kilmer-children-education-fund).

As we take this time away from the public eye to grieve, we ask for privacy and respect from the media and and the general public. It is our sincere wish that this be honoured.

The Kilmer Family will issue no further comment at this time.”

Just Posted

Art Gallery of Greater Victoria sees delays in expansion

Rising construction costs prompt AGGV to look at different design and funding options

Tofino douses Atleo Air firefighting heroes with support

Community says thanks after chopper volunteers extinguish remote brush fire

Mitchell’s Musings: Time flies faster in new millenium

Like Steve Miller before him, columnist feels time keeps on slipping, slipping, slipping

Vancouver Island Chronicles: meet the man who brought sawmilling to Alberni

Capt. Edward Stamp was a walking contradiction who built sawmills in outrageous places

World’s largest hockey stick getting new lights

New lighting system can change colours and patterns

70 years of lifting: Canadian man, 85, could cinch weightlifting championship

The senior gym junkie is on track to win the World Masters Weightlifting championship

Canadian entrepreneurs turning beer byproduct into bread, cookies and profits

Some breweries turn to entrepreneurs looking to turn spent grain into treats for people and their pets

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

Jack Letts, who was dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the U.K. media, has been detained in a Kurdish prison for about two years

Chrystia Freeland condemns violence in Hong Kong, backs right to peaceful assembly

There have been months of protests in the semi-autonomous region

B.C. VIEWS: Log exports and my other errors so far in 2019

Plastic bags, legislature overspending turn out differently

‘It’s just the freedom:’ Paralyzed Broncos player pursuing life on the water

The former Humboldt Broncos goaltender, who started in the net when he was nine, was paralyzed last year

Canadians killed in Afghanistan honoured during emotional dedication ceremony

One-hundred-fifty-eight Canadian soldiers died during the mission

It’s snow joke: Up to 30 cm of snow expected to fall in northeastern B.C.

Alaska Highway, Fort Nelson to be hit with August snowstorm, according to Environment Canada

Sea-to-Sky Gondola in B.C. likely out of commission until 2020

Sea to Sky Gondola carries between 1,500 and 3,000 people every day during the summer season

Most Read