Major search for missing Vancouver hiker in Manning Park as family appeals for information
VANCOUVER -- The family of a Vancouver man is appealing for information from hikers who were in Manning Park over the long weekend as well as people who may have sold outdoor gear to Jordan Naterer on Facebook Marketplace, as a search for the missing 25-year-old hiker ramps up.
Naterer had recently told his sister on the east coast as well as some friends in Vancouver that he had planned to do a solo hike over the weekend, but he didn’t leave a trip plan.
When he didn’t show up for Thanksgiving dinner with friends on Monday, his loved ones immediately knew something was wrong, saying it was completely out of character for the engineer and UBC grad.
Friends connected with Naterer’s family in St. John’s online, and he was reported missing to police.
With no trip plan left behind, there was first no indication of where Naterer could have been hiking. But with the help of bank statements, family members discovered he had been in Manning Park, between Hope and Princeton.
On Tuesday, friends found Naterer’s Honda Civic covered in snow near the Frosty Mountain Trailhead, near the Lightning Lake day-use area.
Several search and rescue teams are involved in the search but their efforts are being hampered by the weather.
“The weather is sometimes co-operating and sometimes not. Right now the helicopter can’t go where we want to because of the clouds and the snow,” Paul Fyfe of Princeton Ground Search and Rescue told CTV News.
Crews have been focusing on the popular Frosty Mountain area but so far, there's been no sign of the missing hiker.
“He went out on Saturday before the snow and now the snow’s come down and the rain we had and its effectively covered any sign that may have been out there,” Fyfe said.
Naterer’s family lives in Newfoundland and his father flew out to help in the search.
“We think he had a sleeping bag, thermal blanket, hiking boots. So he was really prepared. He had hefty gear on his back,” Naterer's dad, Greg Naterer said, adding that it is a difficult time.
“(We're) worried but we remain positive and hopeful that we’ll be able to find him soon," he said.
“We think either he just went off the trail somehow and got lost and couldn’t find his way back on the trail or maybe he fell. That’s what we’re guessing but of course we don’t know."
Julia Naterer says her brother has enjoyed hiking since moving to Vancouver about three years ago for school, but doesn’t describe him as experienced.
“When he told me he was going alone, I was like ‘Jordan, you have to be careful. You’re not the most experienced hiker out there. You’ve never done something like this alone. Let alone something of that length, so you have to be careful.’”
Several search and rescue agencies began a search on Tuesday, which resumed Wednesday with the assistance of a helicopter.
Naterer’s father has now arrived from Newfoundland to help in the search along with his son’s friends.
Julia Naterer says her brother was wearing a red or orange jacket and carrying a “Gregory” brand Stout 60 backpack, which is olive green. He also had a red sleeping mat and may have been wearing Merrell hiking boots. It’s believed he also had a black and blue sleeping bag.
Julia Naterer says her brother buys most of his outdoor gear second-hand online from Facebook Marketplace and she is hopeful anyone who may have sold him camping or outdoor equipment recently will contact police or contact her directly online at firstname.lastname@example.org so they can further determine what gear he may have had with him.
Her family’s big concern right now is the weekend snowfall and dipping temperatures.
“Jordan is a really smart guy, no matter how little hiking experience he has,” she told CTV News. “I think he’s stuck somewhere or he’s lost.”
She says she has been heartened by assistance from her brother’s friends, some of whom she has never met.
“It’s hard because he’s on the other side of Canada,” she said. “I woke up Tuesday morning and my brother is missing on the other side of the country.”
As well as searching in person, Naterer’s loved ones have been scouring social media, sending messages to people who posted photos from Manning Park over the weekend as they appeal for information.
“The people who are stepping up and helping out with this, Jordan’s friends – one of them actually told me, ‘Jordan is family to us as well, we are going to do everything we can to bring him back’ – and it just means so much, because I know how great of a person my brother is,” Julia Naterer said. “It’s great he has friends that see that too and are willing to help out how they are.”
Princeton Ground Search and Rescue is leading the search for Jordan Naterer Wednesday. It is getting assistance from several other SAR agencies including Hope, Penticton, the Nicola Valley, Chilliwack and Central Fraser Valley.
Searchers will continue until dark and resume their efforts again at first light on Thursday.
Anyone with information on Naterer’s whereabouts is asked to call police, and anyone who sees him is being asked to call 9-1-1 right away.