Mass of hope for trio

Mass of Hope for Trio

by Joe Warmington, Toronto Sun,

December 11, 1994

Copyright 1994 and 1995, The Toronto Sun, a division of Sun Media Corporation

 

"Exceptional," "highly principled" and "Loyal" were the words used yesterday to describe three Mississauga men who were lost at sea in early November.

Outside the church, lone survivor Jeff Wandich, 27, cried openly as his friends hugged and consoled him.

His buddies Kent Munro, an engineer with Tour and Andersson, Omar Shearer, a podiatrist at Ottawa's Civic Hospital, and David Madott, a human resources specialist with Magna International, disappeared 100 km off Marco Island, Fla., Nov. 4, when Wandich's 12 metre boat sank.

Calling it a "Mass of Hope," more than 100 friends and family packed the St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church in Mississauga not to say goodbye but to pray that the 25-year olds may still be alive.

Comedian Flip Wilson, a family friend of the Shearers who flew in from California, attended.

Messages were received from Omar's uncle, former Jamaican Prime Minister Hugh Shearer. "It's not over until they are found," Munro's sister Krista said, adding there will be no funeral until they are found dead.

the families don't 'think they are dead" and have not given up "hope," she said.

STRANGE

The FBI calls the disappearance "strange" since the men were wearing buoyant wetsuits and didn't retrieve a flare kit from the boat before it sank or use its radio to call for help.

Last week, Wandich took an FBI lie detector test in Fort Myers, Fla.

"I didn't have to di it, it was my choice," he said yesterday.  "But I needed some credibility in my corner."

The FBI hasn't commented, but Wandich said, "They told me I have nothing to worry about."

Meanwhile, family members are planning to return to Florida to find new avenues to investigate.

"We believe our loved ones are still alive and we are continuing to vigorously search for them," David's father Bill said.  "This is a mystery and in that mystery we find hope."

Kent's father Peter, an Etobicoke district fire chief, said, "We feel someone is holding them and they are held against their wishes."

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