Search for missing Courtenay man called off

Teams combed through 16,000 square kilometres on weekend for Michael Gazetas

A closer view of the service vehicle being sought by friends and family of Michael Gazetas. Photo contributed

Search teams for Michael Gazetas of Courtenay are standing down after an intensive effort to find him on the weekend.

Sue Biely, the organizer of a GoFundMe page to fund private searches, announced with “a heavy heart” that the search was being called off.

“The feeling is that if Michael was alive, we would have found him. He is a resourceful guy who would have lit a signal fire, something,” she wrote. “This is obviously not the outcome we wanted and one that is hard to accept.”

On the page, she said the weekend search covered more than 16,000 square kilometres. This centred around the Highway 28 corridor west of Campbell River. Late last week, they had a clue involving a service vehicle driving the same route before Gazetas, and their hope was to identify the company to see if whoever was driving could help narrow down the search location. They have a video still of the vehicle near the Uplands gravel pit on the Gold River Highway.

RELATED STORY: Clue narrows search for Courtenay man to Highway 28 corridor

Gazetas disappeared on Jan. 31 and was last seen leaving his Courtenay home in his red Ford Ranger pickup. Friends and family started the GoFundMe page to fund air searches as a way to narrow down the potential locations.

“This is a group of loyal friends who have worked tirelessly in the last week…. but all avenues have been exhausted and we are exhausted. We’ve done everything we can and looked everywhere we can for now,” she said.

There were 21 teams out on Saturday and 19 teams on Sunday. As well, searches were conducted using powerboats, kayaks, fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters, with 70,000 GoPro photos taken from the aerial searches.



mike.chouinard@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Oak Bay sailor stranded in U.S. hospital after suffering massive stroke at sea

Glenn Wakefield’s rescue involved five airplanes and took more than 48 hours

Nanaimo RCMP shut down illegal racing and stunt driving site at Duke Point

Police “swoop in” to seize vehicles and issue violation tickets

First storm of the season expected to hit Vancouver Island tonight

Environment Canada has issued a storm warning with wind, and rain that could last into the weekend

RCMP: Trio arrested, firearms seized after report of shots fired in rural Qualicum Beach

Police say search also found evidence of large-scale drug operation

Sandstone project could transform southern face of Nanaimo

Seacliff Properties touting 3,000 homes, new commercial and industrial districts

B.C. reports 96 new COVID-19 cases, one hospital outbreak

61 people in hospital as summer ends with election

BC Liberals must change gears from election cynicism, focus on the issues: UBC professors

COVID-19 response and recovery is likely to dominate platforms

B.C. could be without a new leader for multiple weeks after Election Day: officials

More than 20K mail-in voting packages were requested within a day of B.C. election being called

B.C. ELECTION: Island MLA Adam Olsen says NDP is sacrificing health for politics

Olsen acknowledges situation of a snap election is not ideal for BC Greens,

Babchuk nominated as NDP candidate

Seeks to replace outgoing MLA Claire Trevena

VicPD seeking help in recovering stolen scooter of B.C. Special Olympics athlete

The scooter was stolen from outside Hillside Mall on Sept.21

Survey to gauge interest in connecting Cowichan to Nanaimo by bus

People can fill out the survey until Oct. 16.

Canada West Golf Championships cancelled due to COVID-19 travel restrictions

UBC, UBC-O, UFV and UVic athletes will not hit the links this year, Kelowna was set to host

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Most Read