Ben Kilmer has been missing since Wednesday evening in the Cowichan Valley. (Facebook)

UPDATE: Search efforts ramp up for missing B.C. dad; family urges public search of local river

Kilmer’s work van was found abandoned in the Cowichan Valley on Wednesday, with its engine still running

Kelsey Linning, a friend of Ben Kilmer and his family, made a statement to the press just before noon on Friday, as the search enters its third day for the missing father of two.

Linning said the family is urging anyone in the public who wants to help with the search to head down and look around the Cowichan River, as it is a large area that official search and rescue crews will not be able to reach. She reminded everyone to dress appropriately and bring water and other emergency supplies.

Volunteers from a number of search and rescue teams in the Cowichan Valley worked until 11 p.m. Thursday night and began again this morning, searching for Vancouver Island dad Kilmer.

Forty-one-year-old Kilmer’s vehicle was found running on Cowichan Lake Road Wednesday evening, with personal effects inside, and a search was launched.

Friends from Victoria arrived at the base early Friday morning, anxious to help.

“The search has been expanded and they’ll be going back over some of the area previously covered,” Cowichan SAR managerPatty Abbott said at about 6:30 Friday morning, as she awaited the arrival of an RCMP search dog and more volunteers.

RELATED: SAR personnel from across Island join in as search continues for Ben Kilmer

The RCMP were called to investigate the van, as it had been parked on the side of the road with its motor running, but no sign of the driver.

Volunteers with the Cowichan SAR team were then organized and a search of the surrounding area began within an hour.

“The minute the pagers go off someone is responding,” Abbott explained. “Four managers have pagers and typically we can be on the scene within an hour.”

The Cowichan SAR has 30 active members and is in the process of training another 15 candidates. SAR responds to between 25 and 30 emergencies a year, Abbott says.

Dozens of people in Canada go missing every day but not all generate a search response of this magnitude.

“This is different because we have his last known area. Yes, he could be anywhere, but at least we have a starting point.”

Search and rescue personnel from Cowichan, Ladysmith, Juan de Fuca, Nanaimo, Saltspring Island and the Saanich Peninsula are all involved with the operation.

The volunteers are searching an area in the Menzies Road/Cowichan Lake Road area on the outskirts of Duncan. It is mostly privately owned land, heavily-treed but with a number of residences.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of Benjamin Kilmer, contact the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP at 250-748-5522 or if you wish to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Just Posted

Ministry denies request for air quality monitoring in Revelstoke

Revelstoke City Council’s request that an air quality monitoring system be re-established… Continue reading

Trans Canada Highway opened again near Sicamous

Motor vehicle incident on Highway 1 between Sicamous and Malakwa closed road after 6 p.m.

Air support grounded as fires fill the skies with smoke

Heavy smoke throughout the region thwarted efforts of BC Wildfire Saturday, as… Continue reading

‘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

Key to the SOEC 2017 winner grateful for experience

Petersen discusses what it’s like to win a year of free concerts at the SOEC

‘We will not forget:’ Thousands attend funeral fallen Fredericton officers

Hundreds of officials marched in the parade, which included massed band, several police motorcycles

West Kelowna wildfire evacuation alert rescinded

Alert rescinded Saturday for properties near four lakes within the Gottfriedsen Mountain wildfire

Lions give up late TD in 24-23 loss to Argos

B.C. falls to 3-5, fumbling away last-minute chance in Toronto

Eagle tree cut down legally a 1st for B.C. city

Planned eagle preserve ‘a first for City of Surrey’

Key to the SOEC 2017 winner grateful for experience

Petersen discusses what it’s like to win a year of free concerts at the SOEC

In Photos: Roots and Blues 2018 day one

Michael Franti and the Lil Smokies lit up the main stage to close out a day filled with great music

Smoky skies like a disappearing act for sights, monuments around B.C.

Haze expected to last the next several days, Environment Canada said

Most Read