01/07/2015 07:52 EST | Updated 03/09/2015 05:59 EDT

Liang Jin search: North Shore Rescue seeks 'critical information'

North Shore Rescue says it is seeking "critical information" in the hopes it can shed light on the disappearance of 21-year-old Liang Jin who has been missing since New Year's Eve.

The resident of downtown Vancouver, who also goes by the name Leon Joy, sent his father a text message on Dec. 31, 2014 saying he was heading out on a hike, but failed to say where he was going.

​The latest appeal to help find Jin comes after a woman sent NSR an email Wednesday morning, saying she had encountered a couple in their 60s while out snowshoeing near Yew Lake on Cypress Bowl.

She said the couple mentioned running into a man who said he was on his way to Lion's Bay on the Howe Sound Crest Trail.

NSR tweeted out an appeal Wednesday in hopes the elderly couple will come forward with their information.

Search manager Bruce Moffat said a helicopter was dispatched Wednesday to perform aerial surveillance along the trail to Lions Bay.

There is a shelter along they way in Magnesia Meadows, but Moffat said it was empty, there was nothing written in the log book and no indication anyone had been there recently.

Andrew Radhuber, 27, also missing

Moffat said there are two men who have been reported missing recently.

One is Jin, the other is 27-year-old Andrew Radhuber, who has not returned to his home in Nanaimo from a trip to North Vancouver.

North Shore Rescue began their search for Jin on Jan. 5, after a police search of his computer and internet search history found he'd been researching hiking locations in Vancouver's North Shore mountains.

Moffat said searchers have no idea if the report of the lone hiker is connected to either Jin's or Radhuber's disappearance.

And Yew Lake, where the elderly couple reported encountering the lone hiker, was not among the hiking locations Jin had been researching.

Nevertheless, Moffat is asking the elderly couple to contact him immediately at 604-313-4677.

Jin is described as Asian, five feet six inches tall, with a slim build. Police say he may be carrying a black Salomon brand backpack with white stripes on the straps.

Anyone who has seen Jin is asked to call 911 immediately.