Search suspended for Maple Ridge senior with dementia
MAPLE RIDGE, B.C. -- The search for a missing senior with dementia in Maple Ridge was suspended Friday night after exhaustive efforts by search and rescue crews and police.
Tjeerd "Ted" Vanderveen left his home on 112 Avenue near Ferguson Avenue at 10:45 Thursday morning to go for a walk in the Ferguson Trails, an area police said is familiar to him. He did not bring his wallet or phone, and he did not return.
Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue Manager Rick Laing said the case will now be handled by police as a missing persons investigation.
Sgt. Amanda Harnett with Ridge Meadows RCMP said there were two sightings Thursday afternoon of a person believed to be Vanderveen west of his property.
"His family has told us that he most likely will not be reaching out for help, so if anyone thinks that it could be Ted, approach him and see if he needs assistance," said Harnett.
Harnett said more than 40 search and rescue volunteers have been involved in the search, as well as police and canine units, the RCMP helicopter, friends and family of Vanderveen, and neighbours in the area.
"We’re pouring a considerable amount of resources in today, as everyone knows in the Lower Mainland, it is getting very cold. That’s our great concern for Ted," said Harnett.
Laing said there is also some challenging terrain in the rural area.
"There are some steep areas of the area we’re searching in. There’s certainly some water courses and those are probably the big hazards that we’re looking at right now," said Laing.
Police officers also went door to door and asked people to check their properties and outbuildings.
Local resident Joan Jones told CTV News Vancouver she has been looking for Vanderveen since Thursday.
"Once my husband was home, we took flashlights and went out with our dog and searched back to the creek where it gets really difficult to traverse," Jones said.
"Both my parents had dementia, so this hits really close to home. It’s the worst nightmare."
Vanderveen is described as white with a slim build and short grey hair. He is wearing a turquoise coat, jeans, and black boots, toque, and gloves.
Anyone who sees Vanderveen or has any information is asked to call 911.