05/22/2014 12:38 EDT | Updated 07/22/2014 05:59 EDT

Mounties believe missing Prince Rupert, B.C., man may not want to be found

PRINCE RUPERT, B.C. - An official search for a 24-year-old Prince Rupert, B.C., resident has turned up no trace of the man, but officials suspect he's still alive.

A news release from North District RCMP says searchers believe Jonathan Knight may have chosen to live in the wilderness and may not want to be found.

An extensive search began after Knight was last seen on May 7.

Officials know he was planning a camping trip in a rugged region east of Prince Rupert and his abandoned Dodge Durango was found shortly after the search began.

A Zodiac-style inflatable boat was located last week, upright, empty and washed ashore along the Skeena River, leading searchers to believe Knight used it to successfully cross the waterway and that he wants to remain undetected in the bush.

RCMP Cpl. Dave Tyreman says police are asking anyone who may see Knight on the river, the trails or in a community to contact them so Mounties know he is safe and can pass word to his family. (CFTK)