Wolfville, Nova Scotia — The sister of a Glendale, Inverness County man who disappeared in Wolfville over three decades ago is still feeling the pain of her loss but now is focusing on her brother's life, not his disappearance.
On September 7, 1992, Allan Kenley Matheson 20, and his sister, Kayrene Willis, 18, arrived in Wolfville for their first year at Acadia University. Kenley had taken two years off after graduating high school in Cape Breton to drive a motorcycle across the county, plants trees in BC, try to save the rainforests in South America, and visit Guatemala and Belize.
Kenley was going to major in biology; his sister, chemistry. They shared classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but they saw each other in Elliott Hall on Monday mornings as Kenley left his class, and Kayrene went to hers.
Kenley lived in a single room in Crowell Tower (the biggest dorm on campus, known for its parties). It was in Crowell Tower, on Sunday, September 20 at around 4 pm, that Kayrene saw her brother for the last time. She said he seemed 'slightly withdrawn', but attributed it to a large party that had been thrown in Crowell the night before. They made plans to study together on Monday night.
A friend of Kenley's said he saw Kenley walking down Main Street in Wolfville on Monday, but Kayrene didn't see him that morning in Elliott Hall. She called to leave him a message. He wasn't in class on Tuesday, so Kayrene went to his dorm room to leave a note on his door.
On Wednesday, when Kenley's RA let Kayrene into his room, Kenley wasn't there, but all of his things were. His passport. His clothes, and toiletries. Kenley had $3,000 in the bank (other reports say closer to $4,000), saved up from planting trees, that hadn't been touched and hasn't been touched to this day. Kenley was less than two weeks into his first semester, and he vanished without a trace.
With no evidence to go on, the possibilities of what happened to Kenley are almost endless. Did he decide that university wasn't him for him and just quit? Was Kenley secretly struggling with mental illness, or had something happened in his short time at Acadia to make him commit suicide?
In 2017, Kayrene said that although she still grieves the loss of her brother, she wants to remember how he was.
"I have to look at the fact that he has been gone for 25 years and I was the closest with him out of anyone in my life and it's still very painful but I have to find the joy in every day and not focus on his disappearance but focus on the time we had together," said Kayrene Willis.
At a school with less than 4,000 undergraduates, in a town of less than 5,000, where there aren't enough homicides to even warrant its own line in the town's crime reports, what happened to Kenley Matheson?
The documentary "Missing Kenley," which was directed by Ron Lamothe and released in September 2022, uncovered information regarding Matheson's remains possibly being at Melanson Mountain.
RCMP made another public plea for information in September 2022 to coincide with that documentary, but did not receive new information. However, RCMP said in May, 2023, they were told a search commissioned by the Globe and Mail had taken place on Melanson Mountain.
"The dog indicated an area of interest; however, no human remains were located," RCMP said in a release.
The case was added to the Nova Scotia Department of Justice's Reward for Major Unsolved Crimes Program. Anyone with information is asked to contact the RCMP at 902-679-5561, or contact Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-222-8477.