Official search suspended for missing mushroom pickers

But unofficial search for missing pickers east of Terrace expected to continue

THE OFFICIAL search for two mushroom pickers missing since Sept. 22 was suspended last night, ending seven days of looking which culminated in an all-out effort on the weekend.

Ike Murray, 26, and Michael Devlin Sabo, 32, have not been seen since Sept. 22 when they and another man traveled up by boat to the north side of the Skeena River east of Terrace, BC.

When the pair did not return as scheduled the afternoon of Sept. 22, the third man returned to summon help.

Approximately 150 people, including community volunteers, family members, friends, a group of Canadian Rangers, members of Terrace Search and Rescue and search and rescue experts from southern BC were involved on Sept. 28, the largest search day.

Dave Jephson from Terrace Search and Rescue said the decision to suspend the official search was made with difficulty.

“We feel, and we believe, all efforts have been made to find them within the search area,” said Jephson last night of Murray and Sabo.

He said the search area was combed thoroughly, first by searchers calling out for Murray and Sabo and looking for smoke from a fire, for example, and then by closely examining the terrain, looking for signs the two may have been trapped or injured.

But while the official search ended, people are expected to head out again this morning.

“We, search and rescue, will go into a supportive role,” said Jephson last night. “Already I’ve had four groups come up to me and ask if we have maps. And of course we do.”

The official search was conducted under the umbrella of a provincial agency called Emergency Management BC through the RCMP.