Police have called off the search for a senior missing in rural Maple Ridge after two days.
Tjeerd ‘Ted’ Vanderveen left his house in the 26500-block of 112th Avenue at 10:45 a.m. on Thursday to go for a walk in the Ferguson Trails area. He knew the area well, and frequently walked a trail network there.
The 72-year-old suffers from dementia.
Rick Laing of Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue said the ground search has been officially suspended, but police continue their investigation as a missing persons case.
Members of the public and family of Vanderveen are still combing the trails.
“They (the public) were out there in droves,” said Laing. “They were quite helpful. We had people stopping by with GPS tracks of what they had covered, so that helped us plot.”
There were 44 search and rescue members from the Maple Ridge-based team and surrounding teams on Thursday, and 24 on Friday. The RCMP Air One helicopter and a police dog team also assisted the search.
“We searched the area as thoroughly as we could with the resources we had, which was a lot,” said Laing.
They covered the entire trail network about three times, he said.
Vanderveen’s daughter Julia Marsden said her family has been overwhelmed by the support of response of neighbours, and how generous they have been with their time and resources.
“We are also grateful to the police and search and rescue for their efforts,” she said. “We hope that more leads come in that could get some of those resources back, but understand they have been incredibly thorough.”
At this point, searchers must consider that Vanderveen has left the area, said Laing. He said it is tough for his team members to lift the search.
“You join Search and Rescue to help people find people. When you don’t it’s frustrating. It’s a job left undone.”
Vanderveen is described as an elderly white man with a slim build and short grey hair. He was wearing a turquoise coat, jeans, black boots, and a black toque and black gloves.
He responds to the name ‘Ted.’
Police are asking anyone with any information or if they have seen him to call 911.