UPDATE: West Shore RCMP say the body of 16-year-old Andre Courtemanche was found by a search and rescue team in Goldstream Provincial Park on Saturday evening.
The discovery was made by Metchosin and Juan de Fuca Search and Rescue, who had been working with the West Shore RCMP to locate the teenager.
“Our condolences go out to Andre Courtemanche’s family, who have been notified and have asked that their privacy be respected during this difficult time. Police do not suspect foul play. The cause of death is still under investigation. Police and BC Coroners Service are conducting parallel investigations to determine all the facts, with no further information to be released at this time,” West Shore RCMP Const. Nancy Saggar said in a press release issued on Saturday night.
Courtemanche was last seen on New Year’s Day walking near the 2900-block of Cressida Crescent in Langford. His disappearance sparked search efforts that lasted more than a week and brought out countless volunteers.
An earlier version of this story is below
On Langford trails were filled with volunteers on Saturday, searching for missing 16-year-old Andre Courtemanche.
“I don’t want him to feel any shame I just want him to know that we love him and everyone wants to see him back home,” said Andre’s mom, Denise Courtemanche, alongside her husband and Andre’s father, Glenn.
The two parents are both extremely worried, saying he struggles with anxiety and depression and has recently gone off his medication.
The family’s home backs on to the E&N Rail. Newly released security footage from the home shows Andre leaving the house at 7 p.m., proceeding to the trail.
Glenn remembers the night his son walked away.
“We had a bit of an argument and I thought he spoke rudely, and then he came back a half-hour later and we tried talking it out and he left on the first and we haven’t seen him since,” said the father.
On Saturday, the search for Courtemanche intensified with dog teams, search and rescue and hundreds of volunteers all searching for the missing teen.
Most of those looking, don’t know the family at all.
One of those volunteers is Kirsten Marten, who created the Searching for Andre Courtemanche Facebook page and helps organize searches, donating her time and social media expertise to try and help a family she’s never even met.
“I’ve never met the family,” said Marten. “I’m a mom and I live in the West Shore community. I have two young boys it just hit close to my heart.”
Volunteers are searching all along the E & N Rail. One direction leads to the suspension bridge, the other way, to Langford Lake.
Marten says the RCMP searched the trestle on Saturday, while other volunteers combed the rail all the way to the lake and beyond.
“This is the time, and if he’s lying somewhere hurt, he’s gotta be hungry, gotta be cold. We really need to find him,” said the mom of two.
Both Denise and Glenn say they are overwhelmed by the support pouring in from people they don’t even know.
“I don’t think without all of the support that we’ve gotten that we could do this,” said Denise. “When we feel it’s too difficult, and we can’t keep going, other people just pick up the pieces and go places we didn’t even think to go.”
Andre Courtemanche is 5 feet 10 inches tall with a light neckbeard. He’s bout 185 pounds and was last seen wearing this blue plaid hoodie, blue pants and brown hiking shoes.
“We haven’t given up hope, I hope that Andre can come back safe to us, I believe he’s out there. Come home because we love you and we need you,” said Glenn.