Kings County cold case: A parent's nightmare

John Decoste
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Lyndon Fuller: Missing since November 1988

By John DeCoste

jdecoste@kingscountynews.ca

KingsCountyNews.ca

It has to be a parent’s worst nightmare, having a child go missing.

Earle and Betty Fuller of Berwick know the feeling well. Their son Lyndon, aged 22, disappeared Nov. 25, 1988. Nearly 25 years later, his ultimate fate is still not known.

“There’s hardly been a day since then we haven’t wondered what happened to him,” Earle Fuller said.

Betty agreed.

“It’s always on your mind, not knowing, but life has to go on. You just move forward,” she said.

Lyndon was a patient at the old Western Kings Memorial Hospital, being treated for depression, when he jumped out a third-storey window wearing only blue and white striped hospital-issue pyjamas. 

An agile young man, he appeared to have caught hold of a rain gutter and dropped to the ground, leaving depressions in the grass where he landed.

“There’s no explanation,” Earle says. “We were there when it happened and, by the time we got downstairs, he had disappeared.”

A search was immediately initiated, but, while there were many rumoured sightings, no trace of Lyndon was ever found.

The Fullers, now in their 70s, have “tried just about everything” over the years, from conducting searches and asking questions on their own to co-operating with police to registering with agencies like Child Find Canada and Missing Persons.

Police have travelled as far as California following up tips, but nothing concrete was ever found.

“Your mind wonders what more you could have done,” Earle says. “Every time we’ve tried something new, we get calls from people saying they’ve seen him, or someone who they think looks like him.”

Lyndon is now almost 25 years older than he was when he disappeared. A few years ago, Child Find released age-enhanced photos of what he may look like now.

The Fullers admit “all kinds of things go through your mind,” but the bottom line is, they don’t know any more than they did in 1988 whether their son is dead or alive.

 “I still find it hard to understand why, in a town so small and in daylight, there weren’t more clues around to where he might have gone,” Betty said.

It’s always on your mind, not knowing, but life has to go on. Betty Fuller, Lyndon's mother

Earle confirmed Lyndon had been given some medication shortly before he jumped out the window, which he believes may have affected his mind.

“He was a person who couldn’t be still, didn‘t like to be tied down or confined,” he said. That might explain why he bolted, but not why he hasn’t been seen since.

Earle says it was “very unlike” Lyndon to simply disappear without letting someone know.

“Anytime he was out somewhere, or going somewhere, he would always call,” he said.

“People ask us how do we cope, but what other choice do we have?”

His mother says she’ll never lose hope.

“You don’t ever stop hoping. We’ve been fortunate over the years to have a great deal of support from family, friends and the community. We still get cards and letters of encouragement and people locally have never stopped talking about what might have happened to him.”  

 

Organizations: Western Kings Memorial Hospital, Child Find Canada

Geographic location: California, Kings, Missing Persons

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Recent comments

  • Wendy Dearman
    November 25, 2013 - 10:09

    my heart goes out to all of you, I knew Lyndon he was a nice young man. I still think of him and often wonder how something like this could happen in such a small town. It doesn't make sense how someone could just disappear in a matter of minutes without someone knowing something. Maybe one day we will all have the answers but I guess for now we will have to pray and keep the faith that he is ok. Much love going to your family.

  • Cordelia Hare
    June 19, 2013 - 13:38

    I first heard of Lyndon's story when I started working for Dr. Kenneth Langille in 1990 and it is such a poignant one. Dr. Langille was Lyndon's family physician, and I believe he was also in the room of the hospital as Lyndon escaped through the window. At one point during the 90s I remember the firemen of Berwick dredging a septic pond because it was felt that Lyndon's body might be there. That must have been horrifying for the family. Ashley, my heart goes out to you and your parents. I am glad that Lyndon is remembered daily and especially on special dates. May all those who love him find peace soon! Sincerely, Cordelia Hare

  • Dara Baumann
    June 17, 2013 - 11:05

    Ashley, you and your mom and dad have all my love. I've thought of Lyndon often over the years. I've been hopeful that with the extent of instant communication via texts, cell phones, you tube and other tools these days, Lyndon could be found. I'll keep praying!

  • Joy and Bob Albert
    June 16, 2013 - 11:42

    Earle, Betty and Ashley. Even as part of the family, we can only imagine what you have gone through all these years but you have persevered with the memories that you still have of Lyndon and the hopes that someday soon you will get some resolution. The support you have received from friends, family and the entire community make each day a bit easier to deal with but that still doesn't change the loss that you feel every day. You are always in our thoughts and prayers. We love you! Bob and Joy

  • Ashley Fuller
    June 14, 2013 - 08:32

    My parents and I are very touched by all the comments here. It means alot to know that that the community at large has not forgotten Lyndon. Today is his 47th birthday and we mark the day with quiet reflection and share stories of things he did or said when he was with us. Thank you everyone. Ashley

  • Darren Arenburg
    June 14, 2013 - 06:10

    Ashley, I cannot believe it's been 25 years. My thoughts and prayers to you and your parents. Darren

  • Judy Timmins
    June 13, 2013 - 13:19

    Hello Betty I remember the day as if it was yesterday, Reg and I were married in August of 1988. When Reg heard the sad news, he turned to me and said" I need to go and help" I will pray for Lyndon to return safely to you and your family. Judy Timmins

  • Susan and Tom Daniels
    June 12, 2013 - 14:14

    Our thoughts are with you, I remember Lyndon bailing our hay and what a nice young man he was.

  • Sally O'Neill
    June 12, 2013 - 07:44

    I always think of you all. I remember Lyndon as a cool older kid from 4H and school. I hope you find some answers. You are truly loved by your community and amid all other uncertainty, that will always be a fact.

  • Ashley Fuller
    June 12, 2013 - 05:12

    Many thanks for your kind words, Margaret. it's nice to know the community still remembers and cares. We continue to hope for an answer. Ashley

  • Krista
    June 11, 2013 - 19:54

    my thoughts and prayers are with Earle, Betty and Ashley....hoping Lyndon comes home soon xo

  • Krista
    June 11, 2013 - 19:53

    my thoughts and prayers are with Earle, Betty and Ashley....hoping Lyndon comes home soon xo

    • Ashley Fuller
      June 12, 2013 - 05:14

      thanks for thinking of us. Ashley

    • Ashley Fuller
      June 12, 2013 - 05:17

      thanks for thinking of us. Ashley

  • Margaret Fredericks
    June 10, 2013 - 13:32

    i was married to Larry Fredericks.on June 4th of this same yr... our great neice was born on June 10th of te same yr ... we picked apples for the Fuller's also .. we know the family well & we also have always wondered what happen to ur sson ... Larry knows the boys & family very well as he grew up in blackrock .. & Berwicks ... my thoughts & prayer's go out to u everyday .. & we also hope that he will come home ... so whoever knows where he is ... plz let the family know so they can have the hope & peace that they so desirve ... no parent should every have to go threw live always wondering where their child is ... love & thought's from the Fredericks Family .... :)

    • Lucy Chapman...
      June 12, 2013 - 07:10

      Always best wishes Ashley...I hope some day we all have closure knowing the pain and fustration you all must feel....love lucy