A warrant has been issued for the arrest of Vernon Michael Martin, who was last seen in Prince George just before Christmas of 2009.
"Vernon Martin has been charged with four sex-related criminal offenses based on historical complaints," confirmed Sgt. Mike McGinley of the Vermilion police detachment. "There are two alleged victims and they were young people at the time of the complaints so I cannot name them publicly now."
One set of allegations took place between Jan. 1, 1979 through to Dec. 31, 1982 while another set allegedly took place between Jan. 1, 1982 to Dec. 31 1987.
Martin has not yet been interviewed by Vermilion RCMP, nor has he issued a statement on the accusations.
"We issued the warrants in the first instance, in the interest of public safety," McGinley said.
By the time Vermilion police reached the point of charge approval - quickly after the victims came forward - Martin was already famously missing from Prince George.
On Dec. 18, 2009, a spectacular fire destroyed the vintage Northern Thunderbird Air hangar at the Prince George Airport. Martin and other family members owned the hangar and leased it to NT Air, a company they founded but sold to the current ownership group several years ago.
Martin still maintained an office at the hangar, and his pickup was parked in front when the blaze occurred. Investigators were unable to identify the cause of the fire.
Multiple forensic examinations of the wreckage confirmed, however, that Martin nor anyone else died in the fire. Yet to this day he remains unaccounted for. He is the subject of a missing persons investigation based with the Prince George RCMP.
"The two investigations kind of crossed paths," said McGinley. "We talked to the Prince George RCMP detachment at the time of the allegations, because there was some need to have their assistance on our investigation. There was also some need on their part for our assistance on the developments that occurred with the fire and his disappearance, but there it sits. We do not know where he is."
The two male victims, now adults, are aware of Martin's disappearance, said McGinley.
"It is quite the mystery, this one," he added. "If he shows up, the warrants are there. We will have him returned to face the complaints here. Our Crown has already committed to that; they agreed that the charges were serious enough that he should be brought here to attend court."
Prince George RCMP Cst. Craig Douglass said the local detachment did not make the charges against Martin known because it was a separate investigation.
"Our investigation is a missing person investigation and that's been the same since he was missing in December of '09, that's it," Douglass said. "If other agencies are investigating him for other things, it's up to those agencies to speak to them."
If anyone knows the whereabouts of Vernon Michael Martin (born Nov. 13, 1954) they are encouraged to contact the nearest detachment of the RCMP or provide the information anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS / www.pgcrimestoppers.bc.ca.