It has been nearly seven months since the disappearance of Melissa McDevitt was first reported. On Saturday, several Vancouver Island search and rescue teams and volunteers went out on the trail where McDevitt’s smart watch last tracked her whereabouts with the goal of recovery and providing closure to her family.
McDevitt was hiking a remote trail near the popular Sooke pot holes back in December 2022. Her car was found the day after she did not board her flight to North Carolina to see her parents.
A large search was launched at the time but was suspended after nine days.
One of Juan de Fuca’s search managers, Victoria Clarke, hopes that this new search will provide answers for the family.
“I think there is hope, actually,” said Clarke. “I think we have gone out with a positive mind. [We] are optimistic that they are going to find something that’s going to tell us a little bit about what happened to Melissa.”
When the search for McDevitt first started in December, Sooke RCMP stated that Melissa was known to frequent the area and that she was an avid hiker. On Saturday, Const. Joe Holmes from the Sooke RCMP was at the search and rescue command post providing support in the search for Melissa.
“Ultimately, we are responsible for all missing people in the province of British Columbia, which is why we are forefront here,” he said. “We ultimately use our partners to locate [and] determine what happened.”
In an interview with CHEK News on Wednesday, Melissa’s father, Tom McDevitt, expressed gratitude for all the people who are involved in the search for his missing daughter.
“They want to bring her home for us as much as they want to bring her home [for themselves], so they can say that they had made a difference in bringing Melissa’s missing status to closure,” he said.
Search and rescue teams are expected to continue searching until dusk Saturday and the remainder of the weekend.