Rescue teams expect huge volunteer turnout in search for missing Squamish teen
As many as 1,000 people are expected to join the search for missing Squamish teen Richie Stelmack on Friday.
The 15-year-old has not been seen since 10 p.m. on Tuesday when his family says he went to bed.
They reported him missing when he was not in the family home on The Crescent, near University Boulevard, Wednesday morning.
Led by Squamish Search and Rescue, the massive effort to find the boy includes other SAR teams from across southwest B.C., the RCMP and a number of community groups.
“We don’t even have a clear indication of which way he went. So this is an important part of our SAR operation here,” said BJ Chute, a search manager with Squamish SAR. “It allows us to search a huge area, all of the neighbourhood and houses, in a relatively short period of time.”
Sniffer dogs from the RCMP and SAR groups are being used so search managers are asking volunteers from the public to leave their animals at home.
A command post has been set up in the parking lot near the soccer field at Quest University and anyone in the community who wants to help is being asked to report to that location for an assignment.
According to Chute, Stelmack lives with severe social anxiety.
Chute said it’s not clear why he left his home, but it is possible he is scared and hiding somewhere.
“Obviously we’re very concerned for Richie’s well-being, for his safety,” Chute said. “He has been outside for a couple of days now and we believe he is not dressed for the weather.”
Everyone in Squamish is being asked to carefully search their properties, including any outbuildings and vehicles where the boy might have sought shelter.