Jeffery Phan, 24, Michelle Lesaca, 24, and two children, 3-year old Satana Phan and 2-year old Satan Phan are missing after their abandoned vehicle was found along the highway in the Dease Lake area. (Contributed photo)

Missing Oregon family found after possibly getting lost on purpose

Officials say family of four was found near Dease Lake after their vehicle was apparently abandoned

Terrace Search and Rescue has confirmed the Oregon family missing near Dease Lake has been found.

“They are safe and in care of police to make sure they’re good and healthy, which they are,” said Terrace SAR vice president Dave Jephson. “It’s an excellent outcome. I did not expect this outcome at all, to have four alive individuals. We’re very happy.”

The search for Jeffery Phan, 24, Michelle Lesaca, 24, and two children, 3-year old Satana Phan and 2-year old Satan Phan began at 5 a.m. this morning after BC Hydro workers found their vehicle abandoned 500-metres from Highway 37 near a powerline June 18. A sign was left on the car saying the driver had left to find fuel. However, police say checks with all gas stations in the area had been unsuccessful.

Jephson said the SAR team’s experience with the family indicates they had intentionally gone into the wilderness and did not want to be found.

“I think they were out there in intentionally …who knows why,” Jephson said.

Police believe the family entered Canada at the Roosville Border crossing near Fernie B.C. on June 9 and had been in the Dease Lake area since Sunday, June 10, a trip that would normally take about 23 hours to complete. The call for information has been sent out B.C. wide and investigators are searching communities along that stretch of the province.

RCMP learned the family had originally planned to travel to the Philippines but later cancelled their flight at the airport in Portland, Oregon just prior to boarding May 25.

Police do not yet know the family’s citizenship status, nor why they crossed the border into Canada.

More to come.

—With files from Quinn Bender


 


brittany@terracestandard.com

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