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

UPDATE: Family of missing Ben Kilmer urges public to help search Cowichan River area

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 Kilmer. 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 manager Patty 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

Kilmer, 41, was last seen on Wednesday afternoon but mysteriously disappeared. His work van was found on Lake Cowichan Road on the outskirts of Duncan.

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.

READ MORE: Long weekends always busy for search and rescue

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).



ragnar.haagen@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Just Posted

VIDEO: Man extracted from vehicle eight hours after accident near Cameron Lake

People making pit stop at picnic area made crash discovery

Person extracted from vehicle accident in Cameron Lake

A person has been extracted today from a reported vehicle accident in… Continue reading

Seeing double, the trials and tribulations of twins

BIG READ: Three Vancouver Island mothers share their experiences with multiple births

Learn about Port Alberni’s mayoral candidates with new film series

Alberni Valley filmmaker Dallas Dalziel discusses key issues with candidates

City of Port Alberni issues water quality alert for Kitsuksis Creek area

Kitsuksis Creek residents urged to use alternate drinking water source

Conservation officer frees B.C. deer from flotation gear mishap

BC Conservation Officer Service is reminding residents to keep backyards clear of entanglements

Lions earn stunning 35-32 OT win over Ticats

Epic comeback lifts B.C. past Hamilton in CFL thriller

Czarnik nets 3 as Flames dump Canucks 5-2

Calgary picks up exhibition win over Vancouver

Ottawa to name new ambassador for women, peace and security, Freeland says

Chrystia Freeland also confirmed Canada would spend about $25 million to fund number of initiatives

‘A little bright spot:’ Ottawa residents rescue dog trapped beneath rubble

Freelance journalist says rescue of a dog trapped under rubble was happy ending amid chaos in Ottawa

B.C. deaf community wants different sign languages on federal accessibility act

Advocates also want Indigenous Sign Language to be recognized on the Indigenous Language Act

VIDEO: B.C.-born firefighter remembered by MP in emotional speech

Family asks first responders to look after one another in wake of suicide, growing concerns of PTSD

Airline has ‘close call’ with drone while en route to B.C. airport

Jazz Aviation reported the drone sighting near Vancouver to the RCMP and Transport Canada

Tragic accident claims life of B.C. toddler

Fundraising effort has been created to help mom and family

Most Read