THE SEARCH for a missing filmmaker was the largest in a decade as volunteers from around the province came up to the Hazelton area to help.
Search and rescue (SAR) teams from Prince George, the Lower Mainland, Lions Bay SAR, Sunshine Coast SAR, Campbell River and other Lower Mainland locations joined northwest teams from Smithers, Kitimat, Stewart and Terrace, said Terrace Search and Rescue president Dwayne Sheppard this week.
“The Northwest has not seen a search this large since the Mount Elizabeth Search in 2002 where two summer students working at Alcan went missing. Their bodies were recovered after an extensive search in the wilderness area,” said Sheppard.
On July 10, New Hazelton RCMP received a complaint of an abandoned vehicle parked at Gull Creek. The vehicle belonged to 26-year-old Warren Andrew Sill from Ohio, reported police at that time.
Police spoke to the family who stated their son, Andrew, was in the area to make a documentary on the Spirit Bear and they had last spoken to him on July 4.
RCMP confirmed the vehicle had been parked at the entrance of the Whiskey Creek Trail since July 5.
Sill had told family and friends that he would be exploring for four or five days, but police then learned that Sill was not a seasoned outdoors man and therefore search and rescue were contacted.
On July 13, the northwest teams had begun to mobilize their resources for search assignments in the area, said Sheppard.
On July 20, New Hazelton RCMP announced that a thorough ground and air search of the area had been completed. No sign of Sill had been found. New Hazelton RCMP said they would continue to investigate Sill’s disappearance.
“The Whiskey Creek search has officially been closed and Warren Sills has not been located,” said Sheppard July 27.
“Northwest teams are still planning on conducting training assignments in the area. Whiskey Creek itself will be searched when the water levels drop,” he added.