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

High winds could lead to dangerous snowmobiling conditions

Advice for staying safe on the mountains Family Day weekend

Clearwater Library hosting open house

Event takes place Feb. 15 from 2—4 p.m.

Province announces $100-million grant funding for Northwest communities

The Northern Capital and Planning Grant will go to four regional districts and 22 municipalities

Road conditions for Feb. 15

Slippery sections on Highway 5

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

Ammonia leak shuts down curling club in Nelson

It’s not yet clear when the leak was detected

Pavelski’s 31st goal helps Sharks top Canucks 3-2

Vancouver one point out of second NHL wild-card spot

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

B.C. couple attacked with acid, slashed with knife in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Names keep adding to vaccine petition started by B.C. mom

Maple Ridge mom started campaign to make vaccination a condition of attending school

Most Read