(Files by Dione Wearmouth-MyPGNow)
A boy named Luke who has been missing since Wednesday evening has been found safe and sound.
MyPGNow.com received confirmation from Prince George Search and Rescue and the Prince George RCMP.
Cst. Jennifer Cooper stated everyone across the region can now breathe a sigh of relief.
“I think it’s safe to say that everybody involved is very relieved that Luke has been found just over the 48-hour mark from when he was reported missing. The weather being what it was everybody was starting to get worried for his safety and well-being.”
She added the whole PG-area can give itself a pat on the back for the high-level of awareness shown.
“This is definitely an occasion for Prince George and surrounding areas to be proud of each other. The community really banded together passing along his photo and information via our social network so that everyone was on the lookout and aware of the problem.”
Dave Merritt with PG Search and Rescue mentioned that their instincts took over and found him in a spot where they thought he was likely to be.
“Sending our search teams out we found him in a high-probability area.”
“SAR volunteers were definitely the backbone of this work for the RCMP.”
Over 42 volunteers from Search and Rescue teams across BC, including 100 Mile House, Quesnel, Williams Lake, Vanderhoof, Mackenzie, Fort St. James, and Houston helped with search efforts just south of Hixon.
UPDATE, Friday 5:03 pm
The Prince George RCMP and Prince George Search and Rescue are continuing their efforts to search for 12-year-old Prince George resident, Luke.
Police now say Luke is 12-years-old, as a mistake was made on the initial release.
More than 35 volunteers from SARS teams across BC, including 100 Mile House, Quesnel, Williams Lake, Vanderhoof, Mackenzie, Fort St. James and Houston are helping with search efforts South of Hixon.
“Ground searchers are currently using an open-grid search method,” says PG RCMP Constable Jeniffer Cooper,” at this time, Search and Rescue is not putting a call out to the public for additional searchers.”
“Crews are working with extremely hilly and deep terrain in some areas and clear cuts or dense brush in other places. There is everything from thigh-deep snow on an adult to bare ground. The numerous creeks and rivers in the region are also factors we are dealing with. Search and Rescue crews are using ATVs, side-by-sides and even horses to increase their search area,” said Search and Rescue Coordinator Dave Merritt.
Several Prince George RCMP officers are coordinating police efforts with SARS crews and investigators are utilizing helicopters and Police Dog Service teams are on standby.
“We are concerned that Luke may have attempted to hitchhike with a stranger, making us worried for his safety. There is also the very real possibility that he is still within the area where Search and Rescue is concentrating their efforts. Our concern is that there would be exposure to the cold overnight, as temperatures fell to -1 degrees Celsius during the last two days,” added Cooper.
She explained that on the night he went missing, police dogs were able to track his location to the highway, and believes the dogs may have just lost their scent due to the weather, or he was picked up by someone.
The Prince George RCMP and Search and Rescue crews will continue their search efforts south of Hixon.
“We continue to share information about this file with our BC policing partners and neighbouring detachments, particularly those near Prince George Detachment area, in the event Luke is seen elsewhere in the province,” said Cst. Jennifer Cooper.
Police are urging anyone that has seen Luke or has information on his whereabouts to contact the police.
ORIGINAL STORY: (with correct age)
A Facebook group dedicated to searching for a boy that has been missing since Wednesday evening around 5:30 has been created.
The group has already garnered over 200 members.
Prince George Search and Rescue started the search in the Hixon area for 12-year-old Luke.
RCMP believes he could be headed Southbound on Highway 97.
According to the Quesnel Search and Rescue Service, multiple SARS teams including the Nechako team are helping with the search as well.
Police advise residents that Luke may not comprehend conversation at his own age level.
He is described as:
– White male
– 12 years old
– 4’0” (121 cm)
– Slim build
– Light brown/blond, curly hair
– Hazel eyes
He was last seen wearing:
– Green and yellow coat with duct tape on it
– Black hoodie
– Black pants
– Possibly carrying a ball of twine attached to his belt
– May have a “P.J. Masks” backpack with him containing extra clothes
PG RCMP Constable Jennifer Cooper says he might not be wearing the same clothes listed as he could be carrying an extra set of clothing with him.
Officers are urging anyone with information on Luke’s whereabouts to contact the RCMP.