Clue narrows search for Courtenay man to Highway 28 corridor

Gazetas vehicle seen west of Campbell River on the Gold River highway

Closer view of vehicle being sought by friends and family of Michael Gazetas. Photo contributed

The search continues for a missing Courtenay man.

Michael Gazetas has not been seen since he left his home in his red Ford Ranger pickup on Jan. 31. There has not been a lot of progress, but searchers did get a break in terms of narrowing down the area to be searched.

Search and rescue teams along with family, friends and police were focusing on the Highway 28 corridor west of Campbell River over the weekend.

They are also looking for a truck, probably some kind of service vehicle, that might have been travelling in the area around the same time as Gazetas in the hope that someone might have a clue in terms of his whereabouts. A video shows the service vehicle in the area of the Uplands gravel pit on the Gold River Highway, just before Gazetas.

”They’re trying to identify what that company might be, so they can follow up,” says Paul Berry, president of Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue (CVGSAR).

RELATED STORY: Searchers for missing Comox Valley man Michael Gazetas seek truck owner

The search, as it stands, is being conducted by Campbell River Search and Rescue with CVGSAR assisting as part of a mutual aid agreement. In fact, there are nine Vancouver Island search and rescue teams coming from as far south as Victoria to help out, as have friends and family from the Lower Mainland.

Because there was no initial indication where Gazetas went, search and rescue could not take part, so friends and family raised money through a GoFundMe campaign to pay for private helicopter searches. As of Sunday afternoon, more than $46,000 had been brought in, while organizers kept people posted with updates online. Once the geographical scope could be limited somewhat, search teams were called in.

“We had a clue … a video of Michael’s vehicle traveling westbound,” said Berry. “That was the trigger to initiate a large-scale search.”

However, he added this is the only clue so far.

RELATED STORY: Search and rescue waits for defined area for missing Island man

More than 5o search team members, along with friends, family and RCMP, were out over the weekend looking on all roads, including logging roads, to locate Gazetas’s vehicle. Berry estimates this weekend’s effort took more than 1,100 person-hours of searcher time, and that doesn’t include additional measures such as fixed-wing and helicopter air searches.

“It’s about a 16,000-square-km search area,” Berry said Sunday afternoon. “We’re looking at every possibility. We’ve certainly had some significant challenges with the search area just because of terrain and weather.”

RELATED STORY: Police seek help in locating missing Cortes Island man



mike.chouinard@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

missing person

 

Closer view of vehicle being sought by friends and family of Michael Gazetas. Photo contributed

Just Posted

Homeless woman sentenced to 18 months in jail for selling drugs to Victoria police officer

Officer paid $20 for a substance consisting of heroin, fentanyl and caffeine

Vancouver Island team takes on wacky challenges of world’s largest scavenger hunt

Greatest International Scavenger Hunt taking place Aug. 1-8

Nanaimo neighbourhood tackles ‘field of filth’

Community takes nuisance drug house clean-up into its own hands

Island teachers say they need more time to prepare for fall reopening

Greater Victoria Teachers’ Association says class schedules need to be reworked for cohort model

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

The ice shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island has shrunk 43 per cent

RCMP looking for missing teen in Comox Valley

Jenessa Shacter was last seen going for a walk in downtown Courtenay

UPDATED: Three injured in Douglas Street crash involving impaired driver

Driver failed sobriety test, passenger arrested for possession of a controlled substance

Victoria council avoids 2020 deficit by deferring over $20 million in capital projects

The city will move ahead with hiring for two new positions

Most Read