WATCH: The search area for missing Oak Bay woman Gladys Barman has now grown all the way to Lake Cowichan after a likely sighting in Maple Bay.
On Thursday, the effort shifted to an aerial search after search and rescue crews found no evidence of the 82-year-old on the Maple Bay road where she was last seen.
All morning long on Thursday, the buzz of search aircraft above spurred Maple Bay resident Jeff Birkin to comb the rugged trails that he knows in an effort to find Gladys Barman.
“So we did that today and we didn’t see anything,” said Birkin.
“So it’s really brute force. This is over 1,000 acres, so you really just have to do it one step at a time.”
Cowichan Search and Rescue scoured the rugged, forested area along Stoney Hill Road on foot and ATVs Wednesday night, but didn’t find the missing Oak Bay woman or the green car she was last seen in when she vanished seven days ago.
“I would encourage British Columbians and certainly those on Vancouver Island to keep an eye open for this car,” said Deputy Chief of Oak Bay Police Ray Bernoties.
“It’s likely going to be the car that we’re going to spot first.”
Maple Bay resident Dan Sieffert said that a stranger, that he later realized was Barman, showed up in his driveway on Stoney Hill Road last Thursday afternoon.
“She told she was out of gas so I told her how to get out of here and where the gas station was,” said Sieffert.
That was a few hours after she was captured on surveillance video on West Saanich Road. Which tells Oak Bay police this is where they should keep looking. Thursday police refocussed their efforts on an aerial search from Maple Bay to Lake Cowichan looking for Barman’s 2002 Green Honda Accord that may have run out of gas somewhere.
“On top of going through the same search area they’re going to increase their search area out to Lake Cowichan,” said Bernoties.
“Mainly looking around roadways where a vehicle could have gone off road.”
Oak Bay police say there has been no activity on Gladys Barman’s bank account for over seven days now and they are now pursuing all leads to find her.