WATCH: It has now been one week since Ben Kilmer went missing. Though the number of people searching has dwindled, some volunteers refuse to give up. They continue to search for any sign of the 41-year-old husband and father. Luisa Alvarez reports.
It’s been a week since the 41-year-old father and husband went missing in the Cowichan Valley and there are more questions than answers.
?Something like this is more challenging than anything else because there are questions everywhere. There are no answers so you can relentlessly continue searching for years. There’s no closure, there are no answers there are no clues. The SAR team is dumbfounded, everyone is dumbfounded about what happened,? said Ben Kilmer’s brother-in-law Ryan Corry.
Surveillance video places Ben Kilmer at a job site last Wednesday wearing work clothes and was driving his work van. It was his last known location and his van was found later that same day along Cowichan Lake Road still running with blood inside.
The bizzare circumstances have his family and friends concerned.
“You see this stuff in the movies and never do you think it would involve your family so it’s quite terrifying,? said Corry.
But police continue to say they are investigating this case as a missing person and will not confirm if they are treating it as suspicious.
With no new leads since day one, search and rescue crews, along with the RCMP, suspended their official ground search on Tuesday to focus on other avenues of the investigation.
“Everything needs to be looked at because it is so bizarre for someone to leave a car running and just leave it. It’s very strange to me. It doesn?t seem like a normal thing to do even if you are running away, you would just shut your car off,” said Corry.
Wednesday’s search focused on several back trails that end up leading to where the work van was found. Volunteers searched by foot and by ATV for any clues that may help piece together what happened.
“Maybe there’s something they missed or whatever we don’t know but hopefully we will find him today,” said volunteer Lorna Davis.
The refusal to let the circumstances bring them down keeps volunteers coming each day.
Longtime friends of Ben Kilmer, Kevin Metcalfe and Dave Vanoene, flew in from out of province to assist with the search to find their friend.
“It’s hard to understand really whats happening because none of it makes sense at all, so we are just here to do what we can,” said Metcalfe.
“We came out to do what we can. We are trained professionals or anything but we can hike and search the bush,” said Vanoene.
And as the days go by, the perimeter of the search only gets bigger.
“It’s really important for not just people in the Duncan area but Victoria and Nanaimo to be vigilant have those posters up and just having conversations because you never know what may come by your ear at the dinner table or at a restaurant,” said Corry.
Musicians stopped by the search headquarters at the Sahtlam Fire hall to help lift morale. Many people are still dropping by food and offering other ways to help.
Corry says he expects the search efforts on the ground will continue for at least another week before there are any discussions of changing directions.
“We just hope we can start getting more answers and more information soon, so we can start targeting particular efforts instead of just kind of being all over the map which we kind of are doing right now trying to do the process of elimination,” said Corry.
Anyone that is wanting to follow along with their efforts or lend a hand can find updated information through the ‘Find Ben Kilmer’ Facebook page.
You can also donate to the search efforts through their GoFundMe page.