Search for missing Island man called off

Teams combed through 16,000 square kilometres on weekend for Courtenay’s Michael Gazetas

A closer view of the service vehicle being sought by friends and family of Michael Gazetas. Photo contributed

Search teams for Michael Gazetas of Courtenay are standing down after an intensive effort to find him on the weekend.

Sue Biely, the organizer of a GoFundMe page to fund private searches, announced with “a heavy heart” that the search was being called off.

“The feeling is that if Michael was alive, we would have found him. He is a resourceful guy who would have lit a signal fire, something,” she wrote. “This is obviously not the outcome we wanted and one that is hard to accept.”

On the page, she said the weekend search covered more than 16,000 square kilometres. This centred around the Highway 28 corridor west of Campbell River. Late last week, they had a clue involving a service vehicle driving the same route before Gazetas, and their hope was to identify the company to see if whoever was driving could help narrow down the search location. They have a video still of the vehicle near the Uplands gravel pit on the Gold River Highway.

RELATED STORY: Clue narrows search for Courtenay man to Highway 28 corridor

Gazetas disappeared on Jan. 31 and was last seen leaving his Courtenay home in his red Ford Ranger pickup. Friends and family started the GoFundMe page to fund air searches as a way to narrow down the potential locations.

“This is a group of loyal friends who have worked tirelessly in the last week…. but all avenues have been exhausted and we are exhausted. We’ve done everything we can and looked everywhere we can for now,” she said.

There were 21 teams out on Saturday and 19 teams on Sunday. As well, searches were conducted using powerboats, kayaks, fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters, with 70,000 GoPro photos taken from the aerial searches.



mike.chouinard@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Exclusive: Pamela Anderson talks plans for waterfront Ladysmith property after 12-day marriage

Anderson says she can pay her own bills. Peters denies making comments suggesting she can’t

UPDATE – Chemainus Secondary School fire being investigated as suspicious

Classes cancelled Friday due to ongoing investigation and damage

Town Council approves recommended remunerations increase

A Select Committee on Council Remunerations was formed to determine an increase to remunerations

Ladysmith A&W sends employees on all-inclusive vacations for 10 years of service

Kelly Frenchy, Katherine Aleck, and Muriel Jack are headed on all expenses paid vacations

Disaster Aid Canada Receives $60,000 in Donations for Australian Bushfire Relief

Rotary Clubs in the affected areas will be able to apply for rebuilding funds for local projects

Blair says RCMP have met Wet’suwet’en conditions, calls for end to blockades

The Wet’suwet’en’s hereditary chiefs oppose the Coastal GasLink project

Petition seeks to remove local police department from Lindsay Buziak murder case

American woman starts online petition in hopes of helping Buziak family

Health officials confirm sixth COVID-19 case in B.C.

Woman remains in isolation as Fraser Health officials investigate

Study says flu vaccine protected most people during unusual influenza season

Test-negative method was pioneered by the BC Centre for Disease Control in 2004

Saskatchewan and B.C. reach championship round at Scotties

British Columbia’s Corryn Brown locked up the last berth in Pool B

Resident discovers five discarded hog heads in Vancouver Island ditch

WARNING: Graphic image may be upsetting to some readers

B.C. lawyer, professor look to piloting a mental-health court

In November, Nova Scotia’s mental-health court program marked 10 years of existence

COLUMN: Not an expert on First Nations government structures? Then maybe you should calm down

Consider your knowledge about First Nations governance structures before getting really, really mad

Meet the Wet’suwet’en who want the Coastal GasLink pipeline

Supporters of the pipeline are upset only one side is being heard nationwide

Most Read