Still no sign of missing senior

Wells Gray Search and Rescue widens search area over the long weekend with help from other SAR teams and convergent volunteers

Vavenby resident Joseph Moilliet (l) discusses a possible search area on a map with search manager Les Sakals. They were taking part in a search for Vern Boettger

As of press-time earlier this week the search continued for missing Vavenby resident Vern Boettger and his 1997 Ford Ranger, B.C. license 8769HB.

Boettger, age 78, was last seen Sunday afternoon, Oct. 6, driving his pickup.

During this past long weekend, close to 20 Search and Rescue members plus about 30 non-member volunteers searched the thousands of kilometers of backroads in the area.

“If it’s drivable, we’ve been going down it,” said one searcher.

Search and Rescue members from the Wells Gray, Kamloops, Logan Lake, and South Cariboo (100 Mile House) teams took part. Members from Robson Valley Search and Rescue combed the backcountry working south from Valemount.

An RCMP helicopter plus volunteer-flown aircraft from PEP Air were also involved.

Wells Gray Search and Rescue set up a command trailer at Vavenby Christian Church.

The church is also being used for prayer and emotional support, friendship, and offers free coffee all day.

Vern BoettgerAll the searchers meet there in the morning before setting out. They then check in when they return the evening and where they went is marked on a map. The search leader then holds a debriefing for everyone about what took place that day. Next he explains what will happen the following day. A question and suggestion period follows.

Several of the search teams are equipped with satellite transceivers that allow them to communicate with base as well as show their location using GPS.

The search effort has received good support from the community of Vavenby, said search manager Les Sakals.

“It’s been fantastic,” he said. “They’ve been feeding the searchers three or four times a day. We got a roast beef dinner on Friday and a turkey dinner on Saturday.”

“The church has been letting us use the photocopier, phone, building and washroom.”

According to Clearwater RCMP, on Monday, Oct. 7, at 7:45 p.m., a Vavenby woman contacted the detachment to report that she had not seen her father, Lavern Boettger since Sunday afternoon.

She described her father as a loner who, when bored, likes to go driving on Forest Service roads in the backcountry. Although, elderly, police report that Boettger does not have significant medical/health issues, does not use alcohol or drugs and does not have dementia.

On Tuesday, RCMP contacted Wells Gray Search and Rescue and advised them of the incident. A RCMP helicopter (Air 4) was also contacted and assisted with the search efforts.

Initial information confirmed Boettger got gas in Clearwater and as a result the initial air search was conducted in the Clearwater area.

Clearwater RCMP received new information that night advising that a Vavenby resident who knows Boettger and his truck observed him in his vehicle driving north on Highway 5 from Vavenby.

Search efforts on Wednesday were concentrated between Vavenby and Blue River. Friends, family and other local residents helped in the search.

By the weekend the search area had been expanded again to include the roaded area from Tree Farm License 18 west of Clearwater to near Valemount.

 

Boettger has lived in the Vavenby area since the early 1960s. Now retired, he worked mostly in the forest industry.

– with notes from Robyn Rexin

 

Just Posted

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Red Cross looking for public support

Organization seeks aid to help victims of this year’s wildfires

B.C. declares state of emergency as more than 560 wildfires rage

This is only the fourth state of emergency ever issued during a fire season

Third overall in Canada for McLure, B.C. cowboy

McLure junior bull rider, Jake Bradley, finished third overall at the recent… Continue reading

Fear, real or imaginary

Editor, The Times: Our federal regressive Conservative leader, Andrew Shear, is using… Continue reading

Canadians fear for relatives trapped amid flooding in Indian state of Kerala

More than 800,000people have been displaced by floods and landslides

IndyCar driver Wickens flown to hospital after scary crash

IndyCar said Wickens was awake and alert as he was taken to a hospital

Ex-BCTF president ‘undeterred’ after early release from pipeline protest jail term

Susan Lambert and Order of Canada recipient Jean Swanson released early

Fast food chains look to capitalize on vegetarian, vegan trend with new items

Seven per cent of Canadians consider themselves vegetarians and 2.3 per cent identify as vegans

B.C. swimmer halts journey across Strait of Juan de Fuca after hypothermia sets in

Victoria MS athlete Susan Simmons swam for eight-and-a-half hours in 9 C choppy waters

‘Hard on water:’ Smoke not the only long-range effect of wildfires

The project began more than 10 years ago after southern Alberta’s 2003 Lost Creek fire

B.C. VIEWS: Genuine aboriginal rights are misused and discredited

Camp Cloud one of long line of protests falsely asserting title

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to march in Montreal’s Pride parade

Trudeau will end the day in his home riding of Papineau

Most Read