May 6, 2020 (Wednesday)
Elizabeth Street, Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada
Dylan Norman John Ehler
Alternative Name: Unknown
Missing from: Elizabeth Street, Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada
Date Missing: May 6, 2020 (Wednesday)
Taken By: Unknown
Little Dylan Ehler is an sweet and energetic child. Like many his age, he loves racing around with his toy cars and planes and is a rough-and-tumble boy, always quick to head outside to play whenever possible. He likes watching Paw Patrol and reading “The Cat and the Hat’ – their adventures laying the foundation for his own active mind. He is a sturdy child, quick to get up again whenever he falls, and always ready to throw himself into things with excitement.
On May 6, Dylan (like so often before) was playing with his grandmother in the front yard of her home on Elizabeth Street when he disappeared. His grandmother turned away for only a brief moment distracted by their dog; when she turned back around Dylan was gone.
Dylan was reported missing at 1:20 pm (13:20) and police arrived within five minutes. They immediately gathered his information and a search was launched.
Elizabeth Street is a short lane off Queen Street that dead ends rather quickly in an undeveloped area – attractive for a child wanting to hide or explore. Alongside runs Lepper Brook which conjoins with the Salmon River nearby, ultimately flowing into Cobequid Bay downstream. There were immediate concerns that Dylan may wander too close to either the Brook or the River, and both areas were searched.
Police teams covered garages, sheds, the field, the neighborhood, the brook, and the river in the investigation. The river and brook were apparently full and moving rapidly at the time; despite police and firefighters searching the waters, nothing was initially found.
Then, around 7:20pm (19:20), one of Dylan’s boots were located in the Lepper Brook; then his other boot was discovered approximately an hour later in the brook near where it meets the Salmon River. Police fear that if Dylan fell in, he may be have swept as far as Cobequid Bay making recovery difficult. More than sixty people searched the brook using dive teams, thermal-imaging, and underwater tools to complete the search. An amber alert requires evidence that foul play may have been involved, so no amber alert was issued in this case. By May 8, the search had shifted instead to a recovery operation.
The river was running clear a few days later, and search teams were able to see to the bottom; however, no new traces were found. Rescue teams used a mannequin of similar size and weight was placed in Lepper Brook and followed to see where it went in the currents. There was hope that this would tell teams where to look, but nothing appears to have come from the efforts. Finally, on May 12, police informed the family and public that they were ending ground and air searches to focus on the missing persons investigation that was initiated when Dylan vanished.
There have been sharing rumors regarding Dylan’s family, and accusations that Dylan’s disappearance was somehow linked to them. There also appear to have been rumors that the boots were not Dylan’s size (size 5 instead of size 7) and a few other discussions that will not be discussed here without evidence (Link). None of these rumors were ever substantiated. (Link)
Dylan’s parents (Ashley Brown and Jason Ehler) were both charged with a domestic dispute four days prior to his disappearance after an altercation between the two; however it did not apparently involve Dylan (Link). Police have stated that the dispute appears unrelated to Dylan’s disappearance and do not appear to believe foul play was involved.
Although months have passed, Dylan’s family has never given up hope that he will be found. They have announced that they believe Dylan did not fall into the brook, but rather was kidnapped (Link). In August, the reward was increased to $15,000 and his parents issued new requests to the public to report anything that might help bring Dylan home. Although signs suggest Dylan may have fallen into the Brook, the possibility remains that his boots were discarded by someone to throw off an investigation. Nothing else of Dylan’s (clothing, coat, etc.) was ever found. There is also the fact that Police arrived within 5 minutes and a search was immediately launched. Dylan’s shoes were not found until substantially later. The suggestion seems to be that Dylan almost immediately headed straight to the Brook where he fell in within a relatively short time, but both his shoes were conveniently caught and did not wash down in the rapidly moving brook during the several hours before they were found. While certainly feasible, it is not the only possible conclusion and there appears to be no evidence that Dylan did fall in other than the boots.
In an unthinkable scenario, Dylan’s parents also had to make a request that people stop stealing flowers from Dylan’s memorial. They noted that once someone stole an entire pot of flowers and as recent as August people were still taking individual plants (Link). The Suitcase Detective asks that people report anyone seen desecrating a memorial or cemetery. Such behavior should never be tolerated. Stealing monuments, decorations, or flowers (real or fake) is absolutely unacceptable. It should also be noted that such behaviors are generally illegal in many countries and participants can be charged with a variety of crimes.
- Date of Birth:
- Age at Disappearance: 3
- Ethnicity: Caucasian
- Nationality: Canada
- Gender at Birth: Male
- Hair: Brunette
- Eye Color: Hazel
- Height: 3’0″ (91.4cm)
- Weight: 32 lbs (14.5kg)
Distinguishing Marks or Factors
- Right Eye is half hazel and half blue
- Camo Winter Jacket with Fur Hood and USA patches on the arms and chest
- Red Dinosaur T-Shirt
- Camo Jogging Pants
- Grey & Orange Rubber Boots
If You or Anyone You Know Has Information About The Disappearances, Please Contact:
- Truro Police at (902) 895-5351
- Head Topics Canada (2020) ‘Search for missing 3-year-old boy shifts to recovery operation in Truro, N.S.’, 5 August. Link
- True Crime Society (2020) ‘Dylan Ehler (3) missing from Truro, Nova Scotia’ 13 May. Link.
- Sullivan, H. (2020) ‘Parents of missing Truro boy charged with domestic issues prior to disappearance’, The Chronicle Herald, 20 May. Link
- Sullivan, H. (2020) ‘Search for missing Truro boy switches to ‘recovery mode’’, The Chronicle Herald, 6 May. Link
- The Chronicle Herald (2020) ‘Dylan Ehler still missing despite continued search efforts’, 15 May. Link
- The Chronicle Herald (2020) ‘Searchers to deploy mannequin in attempt to find Dylan’, 13 May. Link
- Jerrett, A. and Belliveau, S. (2020) ”Just completely heartbroken’: Dylan Ehler’s parents remain hopeful boy will be found’, Atlantic, 14 May. Link
- Jerrett, A. (2020) ‘RECOVERY EFFORT FOR MISSING N.S. BOY DYLAN EHLER WILL CONTINUE OVER THE WEEKEND’, iHeartRadio, 8 May. Link
- Sullivan, H. (2020) ‘Reward increased for missing Truro boy’, SaltWire, 5 August. Link
- Egan, L. (2020) ‘MISSING: Grandmother ‘turned her back for a minute’ and little boy was gone. Frantic 2nd day of searching continues.’, Crime Online, 7 May. Link
- CBC (2020) ‘Search ends for missing Truro 3-year-old, police do not suspect foul play’, 12 May. Link
- Woodbury, R. (2020) ‘3 months after Dylan Ehler went missing, his parents renew plea for tips’, CBC, 3 August. Link