NEWS

Hiker found dead after search near Chilliwack, B.C.

06/07/2015 06:43 EDT | Updated 06/07/2016 05:59 EDT
A 20-year-old hiker was found dead on Saturday afternoon, after an extensive search in Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park.

Chilliwack Search and Rescue (SAR) was called to the area early Friday evening, after the young man went jogging ahead of his two friends on the trail to Lindeman Lake. When the friends arrived at the lake, the man couldn't be found. They searched up and down the two-kilometre trail, but turned up nothing. 

Chilliwack SAR Search Manager Doug Fraser said a dozen volunteers scoured the trail network, part of the Lindeman Lake shoreline, and a creek on Friday before dark.

The search was then put on hold until morning, when Chilliwack SAR called for more volunteers from Hope, Kent Harrison, Central Fraser Valley, Abbotsford, Mission, and Ridge Meadows search teams.

As many as 30 volunteers continued the effort Saturday, expanding the search in Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park, but they still found no sign of the missing 20-year-old.

"All of this was really, really strange. Typically when we get called into this area, within an hour or two we've located the missing hiker," said Fraser.

"It's just really difficult to get lost in the area. It's such a well-marked, well-worn trail with lots of hikers on it, so it's very strange that nobody had seen this individual."

Hiker's body spotted from the air

Fraser said it wasn't until about 2 p.m., PT, that a pilot with RCMP Air Services spotted the hiker's body in a boulder field southwest of Lindeman Lake.

"It was very, very strange and difficult to explain why he ended up where he did," said Fraser, adding that the boulder field is quite a bit of elevation above the lake, and a fair distance from the trail.

"He had fallen, either down the steep boulder field, or from a point somewhere on the cliff band above the boulder field, and died from his injuries there," said Fraser.

Accident to blame

Fraser said the three young men were prepared for the hike they had planned, and the death appears to be entirely accidental.

He added that hiking parties should try to stick together in the wilderness, but there's not much more the young men could have done. 

"It's been a long, 27-28 hours, and not the result we were all hoping for. But at least there's some closure here for the family," said Fraser on Saturday.

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