Clearwater RCMP are seeking assistance from the public in finding the story behind a small car recently found in the North Thompson River downstream from the Mad River junction.
“When I first heard of it, my first thought was of Vern Boettger,” said Sgt. Kevin Podbisky, detachment NCO-in-charge, referring to a Vavenby man who went missing last year.
Unfortunately, the car appears to have been in the river for at least 40 years and so is not related to Boettger’s disappearance.
It also is not related to the disappearance of May Millings, a woman from Gibsons who went missing from near Mad River in September, 2010.
Tracks and other evidence indicated that Millings’ vehicle went into the river just a few hundred meters upstream from where the car was recently discovered.
A group of visitors rafting the river first spotted a tire sticking up and reported it, Podbisky said.
When police investigated, they found that the river had gone down enough to reveal the entire car.
The car appears to have been in the river for many years, the sergeant said. Even the gearbox was full of sand.
Police have not yet confirmed the car’s make or model. However, it obviously was quite small.
The stretch of the river has been thoroughly searched several times over the past few years, first for Millings and then for Boettger.
Podbisky speculated that the car must have been buried under the sand for many years, then exposed and possibly moved during this spring’s freshet.
The sandbar where the car was found is located around the first bend from the Mad River junction and is not visible from the highway.
“Obviously, at some point it belonged to somebody,” Podbisky said. “We’d like to know if any of the old-timers remember anything.”
No human remains were found with the car.