Nearly five months after their son Joshua Jeffs went missing, his family is still hoping that he will be found.
Jeffs’ father, and then his mother, have traveled to Revelstoke recently in the hopes they would be here during a renewed search for their son. After his father left, his mother Charlene Ehlert hitchhiked here from The Pas in northern Manitoba, with the hopes of being here while a search is conducted.
“The family was told they were going to start their searching come spring,” Ehlert told the Times Review. “I’ve come here and I’m trying to stay here until they do a search, but they’re not really planning a search as of yet.”
Jeffs went missing on December 19, when he ditched a stolen car near 12 Mile after fleeing from police. Revelstoke RCMP started following Jeffs at about 5:30 a.m. that morning. They traced him to the end of a logging road near 12 Mile, south of Revelstoke.
Now that the snow has melted, Staff-Sgt. Kurt Grabinsky said the RCMP is in discussion with SAR about when to renew the search.
“We are just waiting with Search and Rescue to determine a date which will be most effective to ensure the most ground is available to be covered and that way we can ensure we have truly and completely searched the area,” he said.
The plan is to start with a ground search. If that is unsuccessful, other means, including ATV, boat and air, may be used.
“We don’t know how long he was moving about so we’re uncertain the distance he may have traveled,” said Grabinksy. “A lot of that terrain is difficult to work in, so we assume he would not have traveled far in certain directions. But we don’t know the exact distance, it depends on how the search goes that day.”
Jeffs’ mother is hoping he will be found so closure can be brought to his family and friends.
“Being here a little bit has helped me,” Ehlert said. “(RCMP) did take me out to the site. They have been very helpful to me. They showed videos of the last place he stopped in. I really want to take his remains home because of none of us are from here or anywhere near here.”
Jeffs disappearance is similar to that of David Klammer, who went missing near 12 Mile in October 2012. RCMP and Search and Rescue conducted several ground searches that fall and a helicopter search the following spring, to no avail. His body wasn’t found until early May 2013, when two campers found his body south of Shelter Bay, about 60 kilometres south of Revelstoke.