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25 years later Still no sign of Kenley

-by Rankin MacDonald

It can’t help but turn one’s heart cold whenever the subject comes up again.

But imagine how the family awakens every morning remembering that their son will most likely never come home again.

On Thursday of last week, September 21st, the Matheson family marked the 25th year since the disappearance of 20-year-old Allan “Kenley” Matheson and the RCMP released an age progression sketch of what Kenley may look like today.

The RCMP and Kenley’s family are asking for the public’s help in hopes of obtaining new information to assist in the investigation.


In September 1992, Kenley was a student at Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. During his first two weeks of university, he had travelled with some friends to Corkum's Island in Lunenburg County for the weekend. He returned to Acadia and attended a party on campus on the weekend of September 18th and was seen by his sister and others at Crowell Tower (Acadia University) on September 20th. He was last seen by a friend walking on Main Street in Wolfville on September 21st wearing blue jeans, a purple t-shirt, a red and black backpack and a ball cap. There has been no contact with family members or friends and there has been no activity on his bank account since. 

“Not knowing what happened to my son has been devastating for our family and has made it extremely difficult to move forward," says Sarah MacDonald, Kenley Matheson's mother. "I believe someone out there knows something that may help piece together what happened. I'm urging anyone who remembers anything, regardless of how insignificant it may seem, to please come forward." 

In 2012, the case was added to the Nova Scotia Department of Justice's Reward for Major Unsolved Crimes Program ( detail.asp?cid=80). 

The reward for information is $150,000.

This wonderful family from Glendale did all in their power to try and find out what happened to Kenley.

They felt the investigation wasn’t as good as it should have been, hired a private detective, and they even looked to suspects.

His sister, Kayrene Willis, who lives in Texas, has always spoke of the pain in words that can’t help but move you to tears, or to some sort of healing.

She recently posted:

“Thanks for all the sharing and caring today for my brother, Kenley, 25 years later. He was frozen in time at 20 years old for me and looking at the sketch is like looking at a stranger. The dreams I've had over the years where he came home and then to wake up and realize he is still gone are heart-breaking. I had to make up my mind about a year ago to put down the weight I was carrying and let my heart heal and let the light in. I think I cried for three months straight and then started to pick up the pieces and truly appreciate what is in my life and live my life! For the first time I allowed a little bit of grieving for the loss 25 years ago. I realize he is not coming back, and I am ok with that and I am not going to hold my breath anymore. I'm taking a deep breath and looking up! 

We can carry so much that we are not even aware of. I have such a supportive "team" that has helped me through the past year(s). My husband who just looked at me with the most sympathetic eyes and gave the best hugs, my friend Michaelene who sat with me and made me say out-loud I was not responsible for Kenley's death (I didn't realize how much responsibility I held for this) and then my friends who helped 

solidify the message, it is not yours to carry ... put it down. Of course, my parents who I'm going through this roller-coaster journey with. Through some self-reflection I realized that I was holding the responsibility for what happened to Kenley because we always had each other's back. Growing up, we were Kenley and Kayrene, and both names just went together. The twins born two years apart. 

I've realized that we are responsible for our own lives and our own choices. Kenley was responsible for his own life and choices. Sadly, his life ended early and tragically and I feel there was foul play involved. I am not at peace that someone played a part in taking his life, and maybe we will never know the details behind it, but I have to accept that that was Kenley's life ... and death. The reality of knowing what happened can feel like a far-off fantasy, but I still do hope that one day we will find out. 

I'm living freer, breathing deeper and feeling more than I have in over 25 


It is believed Kenley went missing on that Sunday. Terra Incognita Films will be releasing a documentary about the disappearance of Kenley within a year or so and hopefully Ron Lamothe will help bring some light to this dark issue.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the RCMP at 902-679-5561. Anonymous tips can be sent to Crime Stoppers by calling toll-free 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), submitting a secure web tip at, or texting a tip to Tip 202 plus your message to 274637.









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