The search for a missing Cortes Island man is approaching its second week.
Miles Meester was last seen on the night of Feb. 6 in Mansons Landing.
According to a police press release, RCMP responded to a call that Meester was suffering from a mental health crisis. He left on foot before they arrived.
Cpl. Sean Bulford of Quadra Island RCMP said finding Meester remains a “huge concern.”
“Miles was not appropriately dressed for the weather, has minimal outdoor skills and experience and according to witnesses, was in a state of confusion,” he said.
On Feb. 7, Campbell River Ground Search and Rescue began “extensive grid searches” in surrounding areas. They didn’t find anything that could locate Meester.
BC Ferries was notified and Bulford said the RCMP followed up on many tips. However, no substantial evidence was found to suggest Meester had left Cortes Island.
Last Monday, Feb. 10, a jacket believed to be worn by Meester was found close to sundown in a ditch along Bartholomew Road near Cortes Bay. SAR volunteers and RCMP Police Dog Services did a grid search of nearby properties and forest the next day. Another piece of clothing, possibly related to Meester, was found on Manzanita Road.
Cpl. Bulford said Meester does not have a history of running away and is believed to be lost.
“We would like to remind people to check their properties and outbuildings,” he said. “Make note of anything unusual around properties that should be vacant at this time of year.”
RCMP continue to be involved with the search.
A specialized nonprofit K9 search team from Edmonton found multiple leads that Meester’s family is following up on. They were also able to clear an area closer to Cortes Bay, someone familiar with the search effort said, so the search area is moving north.
On Feb. 19, drone operators were expected to be making their first flight with an infrared camera.
A GoFundMe campaign has been started to help fund food and accommodation for volunteers as well as accommodation and associated costs for any specialized teams like the K9 group or the drone operators assisting with the search.
“Our hope is that we find Miles today. However, we don’t know how long this is going to take and want to be prepared to take advantage of any opportunities that arise that will help us find him sooner,” the campaign’s description said. “Any funds left over after Miles is found will go towards getting him the support he needs.”
Meester is 20 years old. He is described as being five-foot-11, 125 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes and has two small birth marks under his right eye.
If you have any information about Meester, contact Quadra Island RCMP at 250-285-3631.