The RCMP dive-team that went to Gold River to search for missing persons remains in Muchalat Lake since 1970 have concluded a four-day search after no luck in locating any fresh evidence. Photo by Binny Paul/Campbell River Mirror

The RCMP dive-team that went to Gold River to search for missing persons remains in Muchalat Lake since 1970 have concluded a four-day search after no luck in locating any fresh evidence. Photo by Binny Paul/Campbell River Mirror

No luck locating missing body from 1970 in Vancouver Island lake: RCMP dive team

A huge portion of the road collapsed into Muchalat lake near Gold River in the 70’s making it difficult to locate any submerged layers

The RCMP dive team that searched for the remains of a logger that died in Muchalat Lake near Gold River in 1970 was unsuccessful.

A three-person dive team had gone to Gold River on Nov. 6, to conduct a training exercise in Muchalat Lake to test the new sonar technology that they had acquired and to try and see if they could solve some of the missing person cases with the Nootka Sound RCMP.

RELATED: RCMP dive team to search for man missing since 1970 in remote Vancouver Island lake

RELATED:Closing a 50-year-old wound on a remote Vancouver Island lake

In an update, Sgt. Jay White, the head of National Underwater Training Centre in Nanaimo and leader of the expedition, said that after four days of searching, the team was not able to locate the missing person’s remains.

According to White, in 1970, a huge portion of a road collapsed into the lake and took Silvio Strussi’s bulldozer with it.

The team started searching from a spot on the lake that locals believed was Strussi’s last known location. Oil bubbles coming to the surface at that spot over the years led everyone to believe that they were coming from Strussi’s bulldozer.

However, White and his team found out on Saturday that the oil bubbles were coming from another vehicle at the bottom of the lake.

After searching several spots, White said that when the road collapsed back in the day, there was a significant amount of debris that went into the lake.

“We found hundreds of vehicle-sized boulders at the bottom of the lake along the path where the road collapsed,” said White. And if Strussi’s remains and the bulldozer are submerged under the debris, the Sonar would not have been able to locate them, he said.

There were two other cases of people who went missing in the lake–including William Sylvester who died in a floatplane accident in 1968 – and the police dive team searched specific spots on the lake for any remains or fresh clues. However, nothing was found.

In an effort to mark the final resting place of their grandfather, Strussi’s grandchildren–Kimberly Chastellaine and Sean Smith–had reached out to community members from Gold River last month.

The RCMP dive unit read about their quest and offered to include searching for his remains as part of their training exercise in the lake.

Gold RiverRCMP

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Port Alberni Train Station is located outside the entrance to Harbour Quay, on Harbour Road in Port Alberni. (AV NEWS FILE PHOTO)
Port Alberni gets funding to restore heritage train station

Historic train station needs seismic upgrades

Raw logs are loaded onto a logging ship from a log sort down the Alberni Inlet in March 2019. SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News
Port Alberni light on industrial land

Report finds few suitable locations for new industry

Cowichan Valley writer Jennifer Manuel will headlining YakFest on March 1. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Cowichan Valley writer to headline next YakFest on March 1

YakFest is a B.C.-based monthly women’s event held online via Zoom

The North Island College campus in Port Alberni is located on Roger Street. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
North Island College plans tourism networking event

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic impact on Vancouver Island’s tourism industry

Members of Alberni Valley Rescue Squad were at the Alberni Valley Regional Airport on Saturday, Aug. 8, 2020 to practice helicopter hover exit training with Ascent Helicopters out of Parksville. When executing a search in difficult terrain, it isn’t always possible to land a helicopter, so volunteer searchers must be certified in hover exits. (BILL MCLEOD/ Special to the AV News)
Alberni Valley Rescue Society receives much-needed $40K gaming grant

Bamfield volunteer fire department also funded

Dr. Bonnie Henry leaves the podium after talking about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
COVID: 589 new cases in B.C., and 7 new deaths

No new outbreaks being reported Feb. 26

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

RCMP say a woman turned herself in to police after hitting a pedestrian and fleeing the scene of the accident in downtown Nanaimo on Friday morning. (File photo)
Driver flees, then turns herself in after hitting pedestrian in downtown Nanaimo

RCMP say woman was struck in marked crosswalk after driver ran red light

The Canada Revenue Agency says there were 32 tax fraud convictions across the country between April 2019 and March 2020. (Pixabay)
Vancouver man sentenced to 29 months, fined $645K for tax evasion, forgery

Michael Sholz reportedly forged documents to support ineligible tax credits linked to homeownership

Then-Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson looks on as MLA Shirley Bond answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria. (Chad Hipolito / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. Liberal party to choose next leader in February 2022

Candidates have until Nov. 30 to declare whether they are running

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

After nearly 10 months of investigations, Mounties have made an arrest in the tripping of an elderly woman in Burnaby this past April. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Mounties charge suspect for tripping elderly woman near Metrotown in April

32-year-old Hayun Song is accused of causing bodily harm to an 84-year-old using her walker

British Columbia provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives to view the Murals of Gratitude exhibition in Vancouver, on Friday, July 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Death threats mount against Dr. Bonnie Henry, sparking condemnation from Horgan, Dix

Henry has become a staple on televisions in homes across British Columbia since January 2020

Several BC Ferries sailings are cancelled Friday due to adverse weather. (Black Press Media File)
All B.C. Ferries sailings cancelled due to winds, adverse weather

Adverse weather causes cancellations across several BC Ferries routes

Most Read