Volunteers continue search for missing Cowichan Valley man

Volunteers continue search for missing Cowichan Valley man

WATCH: The search continued Tuesday for a missing husband and father of two. Forty-one-year-old Ben Kilmer has not been seen since last Wednesday and while search and rescue teams have suspended their efforts, hundreds of volunteers are still out there looking for him. Luisa Alvarez reports. 

Police and search and rescue crews have suspended the ground search for 41-year-old Ben Kilmer but volunteers continued their efforts on Tuesday.

“People [are] going up and down the island people posting and sharing that my husband has two young kids and we need him back so in fact the search is far from over and it just intensifies every day,” said Ben’s wife, Tonya Kilmer. 

Tuesday’s search was about going into deeper and rougher terrain. Members of ATV clubs and others with dirt bikes volunteered their time to help out.

“It’s what fuels me, all the kindness and good that is happening in such a devastation when there is so much evil going on in this whole situation, that community, that strength like I said it’s what ignites us and we will not stop,” said Tonya.

The 41- year old husband and father of two disappeared Wednesday morning and according to his wife, it’s extremely out of character for the devoted family man.

“This man is calculated in everything that he does. He’s planned, he’s executed, he’s smart. None of this is making sense to me,” said Tonya.

Surveillance video places Ben at a job site Wednesday morning with his work van. The van was later found along Cowichan Lake Road with the engine still running and blood was found inside.

Cpl. Cari Lougheed with the North Cowichan/ Duncan RCMP says they met with the family to suspend their ground search but are actively following other leads.

“The investigation is ongoing and we have a number of investigation avenues that are being utilized at this point some specialized units,” said Lougheed.

The extensive ground coverage by search and rescue crews lasted five days has turned up no new leads since that day.

“We have nothing this man is either very well hidden or this man is not in our circle,” said Cowichan Search and Rescue Manager Tina Phillips.

But still, despite the lack of answers, spirits at search headquarters are high and hope is not lost.

“We are creating an army and we are going to find my husband. There is something going on here and we are going to figure out what it is,” said Tonya.

No search and rescue personnel were on the ground Tuesday but they are still very much part of the search diverting their efforts sifting through data and other leads.

Several GoFundMe pages have been started to raise funds for continued search efforts.


Luisa AlvarezLuisa Alvarez

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