Dozens of friends and fellow students gathered on Thursday to search for a missing University of Regina rugby player.
Promise (Max) Chukwudum vanished without a trace nearly two weeks ago on a cold night on November 17. Friends say he was active on social media, seen at a bar and then at a house party in the Marshall Crescent area, before his accounts went silent.
Police had already searched the Whitmore Park and Transcona neighbourhoods along with the Regina landfill. Thursday’s search shifted to Regina’s Kiwanis Park.
“I’m just hoping for something positive to come out real soon,” said his sister Chinaza Chukwudum.
She said it’s been tough holding onto hope with no good news as the days pass.
Chinaza said her brother has so much going for him, being a member of the rugby team, which she said he always looked forward to. She said suddenly walking away without telling anyone is unlike him.
She doesn’t know what happened to Max, but all the possibilities are swirling through her brain.
“If there’s anyone that has him hostage I’m begging that they let him leave, to just let him go. We were supposed to spend Christmas together.”
Searching for a valuable teammate
It’s almost exam time but that’s far from the minds of the players on the U of R rugby team.
“All you think about is ‘I wonder where Max is,'” said Nathan Sgrazzutti.
He said fellow teammates are having trouble focusing, not knowing much about what happened.
“A lot of the guys just want to know and I think that’s what’s really frustrating. Someone has to know where he’s gone. It’s Regina, it’s the world’s biggest small town,” said Sgrazzutti.
Max joined the rugby team in 2017 and dove face first into the game he didn’t know much about but was willing to learn. He put his body on the line when it counted, protecting teammates.
“He kept us safe on the field so we want to do everything we can to make sure that he can hopefully be found safe,” said Sgrazzutti.
Sgrazzutti believes if Max left a house party it was because he didn’t want to be there or didn’t feel safe. He’s asking the public to check their yards, sheds, RV’s and anything Max may have sought shelter in on a frigid night with temperatures below -20 C.
“God forbid he’s still there but there’s got to be a sign somewhere.”
Another rally at the U of R is planned for Friday at noon before the search continues.