Hundreds of volunteers join search for missing teenager in Squamish, B.C.
More than 800 people showed up to help search for a missing teenager in Squamish on Friday, but their efforts were ultimately unsuccessful.
Fifteen-year-old Richie Stelmack was last seen going to bed Tuesday night at his home in Garibaldi Highlands. He hasn't been seen since, and officials say they still have no clues as to why he left home, or where he might be.
Volunteers slowly and carefully combed through the neighbourhood, searching in sheds, bushes and even garbage bins, looking for places where Stelmack might have taken shelter.
"We’re very concerned for Richie’s well-being," said BJ Chute, a search manager for Squamish Search and Rescue.
"We’re very concerned for his safety. He has been outside for a couple of days now. We believe he’s not dressed for the weather."
The teen was last seen wearing brown plaid pyjama pants and a red long-sleeve shirt with "RVCA" on the front. He left his phone, computer and backpack behind, and crews believe he's barefoot.
Officials say they've interviewed everyone who knows Richie, including family, friends, teachers and even his doctor. They're also reviewing hundreds of videos from home security cameras, searching for clues about which way he may have gone.
"We have a lot of negative clues," said Mike Teske, also a search manager for Squamish SAR.
"We have a lot of places we know he didn’t go, but we have no positive clues."
The next step, Teske said, is to search creeks and canyons. Specialized teams will take over that aspect of the search on Saturday.
"It’s very technical terrain, so it will require rope access," Teske said. "We have five major rivers that go through Squamish, so we have a fairly large number of areas to search."
He said crews have kept in constant contact with Stelmack's family throughout the search, and described the family as "overwhelmed" by the situation and the support they've received from the community.
For Stelmack himself, Teske had a simple message:
"We just ask him to come home," he said. "He’s not in trouble. We would all be very, very happy to see him."
With files from CTV News Vancouver’s Alissa Thibault