Friends and family of Rory McDonald are searching for answers about the 60-year-old man’s disappearance from Vernon in mid-May.

This week police informed the public that officers now believe the missing person’s case involves foul play and the RCMP believes he is likely dead.

The news was hard for his former sister-in-law and good friend Adele McDonald to hear.

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“It breaks my heart … Being the guy that he was, I can’t understand why anyone would want to do anything to hurt him,” Adele said.

Adele described her former brother-in-law as “a big old teddy bear.”

“[He was] always willing to help somebody out. [He would] give you the shirt off his back if he figured it would help you even if it left him in a bad spot. It didn’t matter to Rory as long as he could do something to help somebody out,” said Adele.

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It’s been nearly two months with no sign of her friend, and Adele said she’s feeling “devastated and broken.”

Police say Rory McDonald was last seen on May 16, and was reported missing by his family two days later.

Vernon RCMP

Rory has been missing since May 16.

That day Adele said she was with him in a parking lot in the 3300 block of 35th Ave in downtown Vernon.

They were loading some of his belongings into a vehicle so Adele could take Rory to Kamloops the next day to spend time with his mother.

“He got a phone call and left … and that was the last I saw or heard from him,” Adele said.

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It was highly unusual for Adele and her family not to hear from Rory.

“He and my daughter are as close as 19 is to 20. A day doesn’t go by that he doesn’t get ahold of Kristen. That’s her big uncle — her ‘buncle,’” Adele said.

So after two days of no contact, they reported Rory missing.

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Two months later after searching extensively for Rory, they are still waiting for answers.

They are appealing to anyone who has information to contact RCMP.

“We’d appreciate it. We want Rory back. We’d like to see him come home,” Adele said.

His family is now fundraising to try to raise money to offer a reward for tips about the case.

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Police find crime scene, say incident targeted

RCMP said the discovery of a crime scene somewhere in the North Okanagan and the forensic examination of two vehicles has lead police to believe foul play was involved.

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“Given the evidence that we’ve gathered to date and through our detailed investigation the evidence kind of points in the direction that Rory is deceased. However, we haven’t recovered a body,” said RCMP spokesperson Const. Kelly Brett.

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Police are not releasing the exact location of the crime scene as they continue to investigate.

“At this time we do believe this is a very targeted incident,” Brett said.

“Obviously risk to the general public is quite low at this time.

RCMP are hoping tips from the public will help further the investigation.

On Wednesday, the RCMP put out an appeal for information about the whereabouts of two vehicles between May 16 and 21, the five days after McDonald went missing.

“We are looking for information with regards to these vehicles. We can confirm they are involved so we would like to just canvass any witnesses that may have seen those two vehicles in and around any rural or remote areas,” said Brett.

A photo of a 2004 grey Honda Accord, one of two cars that RCMP say was associated with Rory McDonald’s disappearance.

Vernon RCMP

A photo of a 2002 Volkswagen Passat spray-painted black, one of two cars that RCMP say was associated with Rory McDonald’s disappearance.

Vernon RCMP

Police also released surveillance footage of Rory in Vernon on the day he went missing to help encourage anyone with information to come forward.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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