The bodies of two men that went missing near Sooke were found Sunday evening after a bylaw officer spotted a bumper along the river.
The search for a third missing man continues Monday.
A.J. Jensen, Eric Blackmore and Cory Mills, all 20-years-old, were last seen Friday night at a residence in Otter Point Road in Sooke. According to police, at approximately 11 p.m. on Jan. 31, they left in a 2004 blue Dodge Dakota pickup truck to an unknown destination.
When they weren’t seen Saturday morning, the family began searching 4X4 spots the men were known to frequent.
By Saturday night, Juan de Fuca Search and Rescue (SAR) was involved.
The blue Dodge Dakota the men were travelling in was found in the 3000-block of Sooke River Road near the Sooke Potholes Provincial Park on Sunday evening.
The bodies of two men from the group were also found Sunday night down by Sooke River.
A bylaw officer had seen a bumper from a vehicle, which had narrowed the search to the area.
The names of the two men have not been released by officials.
Police said they are still looking for a third man. It is unknown what he was wearing at the time. Juan de Fuca SAR is back in the area as of Monday morning. An underwater recovery team is also at the search site.
“They’re hopeful that maybe the person walked out, but at this time we’re focusing our energy where the other two bodies were located,” said RCMP Cpl. Chris Manseau.
“He’s still considered a missing person until otherwise located, but we will be working with our underwater recovery team on the chance that person is in the water.”
Police said no foul play is suspected in the deaths at this time.
The men, all 20, went missing at the peak of a rainstorm which dumped upwards of 100 millimetres of rain across southern Vancouver Island. Many roads were flooded or washed out, and Manseau said water levels in the Sooke River were “significantly” higher than usual.
“There’s lots of areas of that part of Sooke that were flooded that normally aren’t, so we’re just being very cautious out there for rescuers and all of our members,” Manseau said.
Sooke is a community of 13,000 on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, west of Victoria. Hundreds of locals volunteered to search for the missing men over the weekend, combing the swamped, wooded area for hours as the storm rolled over.
“The Sooke detachment commander really wants to thank the efforts put in by the town and all the volunteers who came out to try to locate these men,” said Manseau.
“He really stressed to me that he’s really impressed with Sooke and very appreciative of their efforts.”
With files from CBC