Missing teenager found dead in Squamish, B.C.
Search and rescue crews in Squamish have found the body of a teenager missing since Tuesday, local Mounties confirmed Saturday.
Fifteen-year-old Richie Stelmack was last seen going to bed Tuesday night. He was reported missing the following morning, prompting a massive search effort that drew more than 800 volunteers on Friday.
Teams searched sheds, garages, bushes and even garbage bins for the missing teen, and crews reviewed hundreds of hours of surveillance video hoping to determine where he went after leaving his home on The Crescent, near University Boulevard, in the Garibaldi Highlands neighbourhood.
After unsuccessful suburban searches on Friday, Squamish Search and Rescue teams planned to search creeks and canyons on Saturday.
Squamish RCMP confirmed early Saturday afternoon that Stelmack's body had been found.
In a news release, the detachment said the teen was found in the Mashiter area of Garibaldi Highlands.
Images from the scene show crews working along a bridge near Quest University.
BJ Chute, a manager with Squamish Search and Rescue said crews conducted a “technical search” of the shoreline and the river under the bridge Saturday morning. The teenager’s body was located about 10:40 a.m.
Chute praised the Squamish community for coming together to help look for Stelmack, in particular the number of people who joined the search on Friday.
“The work that these untrained people did to cover off a massive area, a very important part of our search was done thanks to the community,” Chute said.
Chute said he’s glad that searchers were able to bring some closure to Stelmack’s loved ones.
“Although we wish the circumstances were better, we are pleased that we were able to bring this young man('s body) home to his family.”
Police say Stelmack's family is asking for privacy.
"There is no evidence of foul play and the family has been notified and are requesting privacy during this very tough time," police said in their release. "The Squamish RCMP will work with the BC Coroners Service on this investigation."
Mounties added that they expected to be working with Squamish firefighters in the area "throughout the day," and said traffic delays and closures along The Boulevard were likely. They advised the public to stay away from the area until it has fully reopened.
Squamish RCMP spokesperson Sgt. Sascha Banks offered condolences to Stelmack's family on behalf of police and other agencies that worked to find him.
She also thanked members of the community and the local media for their assistance in the search effort.
"It has been a very hard and difficult few days and this was not the ending we had hoped for," Banks said in the release. "One thing I know Squamish will do in the coming days and weeks is we will rally around Richie's family, friends, and our community members."