Leaders give searchers their orders before they head out to look for missing Ben Kilmer on Friday morning. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)

UPDATE: Blood found in missing man’s vehicle

Searchers are sticking to a high-priority area before expanding their search for Ben Kilmer

Search teams were coming and going at a steady rate, Friday morning, from the Cowichan Search and Rescue command centre.

As of 2 p.m. on Friday, 41-year-old father and husband Ben Kilmer had not been found.

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

SEE RELATED: Search underway for Benjamin Kilmer, 41

Cowichan Search and Rescue manager Tina Phillips confirmed blood was discovered inside the electrician’s vehicle, which had been found parked but still running on Wednesday afternoon.

“I understand there was some blood inside the vehicle. Other than that the police are investigating all leads,” Phillips noted. “Nothing to us to indicate a struggle.”

Phillips said teams from around the Island will continue to scour private properties in the rural area of Cowichan Lake Road, where Kilmer’s car was found, for at least the remainder of the day before the search area is broadened.

“We are continuing to grid search an area that has been a high priority for us so we’re using a lot of manpower right now,” she said. “We’ve got 11 teams and 65 people in the field.”

Phillips asked that anyone living in the area of Cowichan Lake Road and Menzies Road check their outbuildings and properties for signs of Kilmer.

“People who are not aware of what’s been going on and maybe just finding out now, it’s really important that they get out and have a good look around their property,” she said.

A nearby property owner granted firefighters permission to drain his pond, but Phillips noted it was only to rule it out as an area of interest.

Volunteers not technically working under the command of the coordinated SAR team are also looking for Kilmer.

Friends and family have come up from the South Island to aid in the search.

“We are assisting them in getting out. We want to document locations that they’ve been at as well,” Phillips noted.

“We think we should be so close, so it’s a little bit frustrating that way,” she said.

Kelsey Linning, a friend of Kilmer and his family, said the family is urging anyone 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.

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

Those with information on the whereabouts of Benjamin Kilmer are urged to 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).

READ MORE: Long weekends always busy for search and rescue



sarah.simpson@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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Search dog Hazel from Nanaimo Search and Rescue heads out with handler Carly Trobridge to search for Ben Kilmer. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)

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