Fifty-year-old Murray Naswell is still missing in Strathcona Provincial Park. He told his family he was going camping and hiking when he left his Cumberland home Tuesday.

“He said he was going to go camping and he was going to return Friday,” his niece Kimberly Naswell told CHEK News.

“He goes up to the mountain all the time, he knows the mountain really well and spends a lot of time on that mountain.”

Mount Albert Edward is a popular day hike for people who camp at nearby Kwai Lake as Naswell did. So there could have been several groups on the mountain that day and searchers would like to talk to anyone who thinks they might have seen him.

They say most of his camping equipment was found at the campsite so they’re worried he doesn’t have much gear with him.

“Right now he’s not prepared to be out in the backcountry,” said Comox Valley Search and Rescue’s Paul Berry.

“We have a canine team as well as a SAR team working in the Murray Meadows area. We checked out some cabins that family had mentioned that were favorite locations for Murray to visit and then we have trail teams working in the park.”

Berry says they received a tip indicating Naswell may have been seen in the Murray Meadows area Friday morning. It’s believed he’s only wearing a white t-shirt and shorts.

Unfortunately, poor visibility in the high alpine kept an RCMP helicopter grounded for most of the weekend but Sunday afternoon the weather cleared just enough for the helicopter to lift off to take crews in to expand the search.

“We just want to get him home so we’re hoping they find something and they’ll be able to find him and just bring him home safe,” said Kimberly Naswell.

Search and Rescue teams from across the Vancouver Island and from as far away as Chilliwack are on the way and will begin arriving tonight to help in the search.

Dean Stoltz