‘Dylan has been my daily inspiration, my strength and my saviour’

Pictured is Brenda and Dylan Chretien. Prince Albert police say an autopsy earlier this week determined it was Dylan's remains found in a rural area outside of Prince Albert on Dec. 4, 2019. (Embracing Bereaved Mother of Dylan Chretien/GoFundMe)

GoFundMe supports mother of Lloydminster man found deceased outside of Prince Albert

A GoFundMe for Dylan Chretien and his mother is shedding light on the 30-year-old’s “big, contagious smile” and loving heart.

Chretien, who was from Lloydminster, was last seen on Oct. 27 in Prince Albert. Just a few days later on Nov. 1, police located his blue Toyota Tundra truck abandoned in the Nordale area.

Dylan Chretien’s truck was found abandoned in the Nordale area on Nov. 1. (Prince Albert Police Service/Facebook)

At the end of November, Prince Albert police said they uncovered evidence suggesting foul play in the man’s disappearance—his family and friends waited and waited, “hoping for a miracle,” reads the GoFundMe page.

RCMP said they found human remains in a rural area outside of the city on Dec. 4 during a ground search, with the autopsy earlier this week identifying the body as Chretien’s. Police said they are not releasing the cause of his death, but said it was the result of foul play.

In a statement from Brenda which was shared by the GoFundMe’s organizer, she remembered the day her son was born in the midst of the devastation.

“I had a difficult delivery and almost died that day, but all I could think of was, I had to survive as I didn’t have any relatives to take care of him if anything happened to me,” she said.

“His strength of character was evident that very first day, he had the deepest and loudest cry of all the babies in the nursery. So Dylan gave me the strength to fight for my life that day and throughout the rest of our lives together through sickness and health, joy and tears.”

Brenda raised Dylan by herself in their Lloydminster home, developing a strong bond and unspeakable family love.

“Dylan has been my daily inspiration, my strength and my saviour, he has been my whole world. I’m totally heartbroken and praying for strength to carry on without his beautiful infectious smile and kind loving heart.”

She thanked the people who brought her son happiness and laughter in the past 30 years.

Brenda Chretien says her son’s strength was evident from the day he was born. (Embracing Bereaved Mother of Dylan Chretien/GoFundMe)

As of Friday afternoon, The GoFundMe page has raised over $4,500 of its $15,000 target since it was created on Wednesday. The page’s organizer, Payten DesJardine, shared on Facebook that the amount of money raised in less than 24 hours made her teary-eyed.

“Nothing we say or do will ever fix (Brenda’s) pain and suffering, but the least we can do is lift the financial stress from her shoulders and make that load a little lighter, shes gonna be carrying this for the rest of her life,” she said on the page.

Speaking to the Daily Herald, DesJardine said her husband Brandon Harper was best friends with Dylan since fourth grade.

“He had a great sense of humour, always wearing a smile, outgoing, and easy going. If you were a stranger to him, and in the same room together, you wouldn’t be strangers for long. He had a huge soft spot for his mom,” she said, adding Harper admired Dylan’s love for Brenda.

His favourite memory with Dylan took place when they were 12 years old.

“Dylan had called him and said that he got into a disagreement with his mom and he asked to move in with Brandon. So they met halfway down the bike path that connected their houses and there comes Dylan walking with all of his bags and he said ‘I’ll just stay in your storage room.’ Brandon laughed at the memory,” explained DesJardine.

“But just a few hours later he and his mom had made up and he was back home.”

DesJardine said it feels impossible to describe the pain friends and family are going through: “Some words that come to mind are devastating, mortifying, crippling heartache, confusion, anger, anguish, it is an unjust situation all around to say the least.”

She’s encouraging the public to donate to or share the GoFundMe called ‘Embracing Bereaved Mother of Dylan Chretien.’ The money will go towards funeral arrangements, as well as other financial stresses considering Brenda is unable to work at this time.

“It means the world to us, we can’t thank everyone enough. Sometimes it takes a village, and I’m grateful that people have stepped up to let Brenda know she is not alone.”

On the GoFundMe, DesJardine said Dylan’s friends constantly looked for information on his whereabouts in the weeks he was missing. They didn’t know why Dylan was in Prince Albert.

His loved ones and even strangers shared his story in hopes of bringing him home.

“Something NO parent should ever have to do is plan their child’s funeral,” she said on the page.

“Someone has so selfishly taken Dylan’s life, but when they did that, they also took a mother’s only son, they took a good friend to many people, they took a young man’s life, and cut it far too short; they took a beautiful soul, the brightest smile, and a man who’d give the shirt off his back to anyone in need.”