When Ryan Clarke posted on his Facebook page, “My family has been missing since Saturday afternoon. They went mountain biking near Barriere, B.C., and haven’t returned”, it not only started a frenzy of Facebook posts but also galvanized the community to do all that they could do to assist in helping to bring this family safely home.
Clarke, who was out of province, reported his wife Angela Clarke, and their three children aged 12, 10 and 9 missing when they didn’t come back from the bike outing around 2 a.m. on Sunday, police said, with Mounties finding no one at their home.
Barriere RCMP Cpl. Steve Mancini said a search was started Sunday morning in the vicinity of East Barriere Lake with assistance from an RCMP helicopter.
Mancini says the search continued into Monday, with a break coming that afternoon when people reported sighting the family’s black Infinity QX 56 stuck in snow at the 18.5 kilometer mark on South Lake Road, but the vehicle was empty.
An extensive group and air search was then focused to that area with Barriere Search and Rescue.
“We already had the helicopter circling the East Lake area,” said Mancini, “After the vehicle was found, the helicopter located the family within 15 minutes at the north end of Johnson Lake.”
He reported the family “was a little shaken up, had some bumps and bruises” and were embarrassed by the whole event.
Apparently when the car became stuck in the snow they had started out with the bikes, but the bikes had also caused some problems.
That evening Anglela Clarke posted on Facebook, “The kids and I are safe, thank you to everyone.”
In an interview with this newspaper the next day she stated, “I would like to say I am so very greatful to all who helped. I am overwhelmed by the genuine strong caring people of Barriere, and how amazing this community is. The police and Search and Rescue, along with all our service people make this a wonderful place to live. I am so grateful that so many people cared, and worked so hard to help my children and me. The determination and strength in this town is one of a kind, and why I love to call this home. Thank you everyone.”