Friends and volunteers were out searching again Tuesday for a senior with dementia who went missing late last week, but no longer feel he is alive.
His family is feeling lost after large-scale search efforts for Tjeerd ‘Ted’ Vanderveen, 72, turned up nothing on Sunday, while Ridge Meadows RCMP suspended their efforts on Saturday.
“We, as a family, are taking the morning off to recoup a little,” Julia Marsden, daughter of the missing man, said Monday.
Marsden added there was one possible sighting of her father in a ravine on Sunday, but that lead turned out to be nothing.
A police dog team did respond, though.
Marsden said family members are appreciative of the people who are out searching again Monday and Tuesday, but they don’t think they are looking for a live person anymore.
So the urgency is a little lower, Marsden said.
“Nothing new, more people going out searching, more flyers handed to mailboxes and lots of praying for closure,” Marsden said in a text message Tuesday.
On a Facebook site dedicated to the search, Marsden mentioned that after further review of a neighbour’s surveillance footage of her father heading out on his walk, “we now have no evidence he was seen on the road on the other side of the trail and it’s likely he’s still in there.”
RCMP said Vanderveen left his home in the 26500-block of 112th Avenue, at 10:45 a.m., Nov. 28, to go for a walk in the Ferguson Trails area, a location well-known to him.
RCMP were joined in their efforts by Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue, police dog services, the Air One police helicopter, friends and neighbours.
Even though the ground search has been officially suspended, police continue their investigation as a missing person case.
Around 20 people met at Ruskin Hall at about 8 a.m. Sunday to continue to search for Vanderveen.
They fanned out along the Ferguson Trails area, while another group of about 20 to 30 people handed out flyers while spreading the word on social media.
By 4 p.m. Sunday, Marsden said searchers were going to rest for a bit before resuming in order to figure out a plan going forward.
“We are feeling less urgent about going out in the forest, so may not go tomorrow,” Marsden wrote Sunday on Facebook.
“We are fried and just wanting to sit for a bit before we come up with a game-plan going forward. We’re out there with posters and will likely keep looking in the forest.”
She added the family will be sending out posters with truck drivers to put up at stops.
The family is urging residents to check their properties and are offering to send small teams to help if a homeowner is unable to do so.
Vanderveen is described as:
• elderly white man;
• slim build;
• short grey hair;
• wearing a turquoise coat, jeans, black boots, and a black tuque 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.