West Kelowna  

No leads in search for man

The search for a missing 72-year-old man continued into its third day Friday in West Kelowna, with no success.

Lawrence Hamilton was last seen on March 25 at 3 p.m., leaving the Lakeview Lodge on Butt Road, his mother's residential care home.

On Friday, more than 40 search and rescue members from Kamloops, Vernon, Penticton, and Kelowna scoured West Kelowna, all the way from the William R. Bennett bridge to the hills north of West Kelowna, to the lakeshore, from Gellatly Bay to Peachland.

“Still quite a bit of area to cover,” said Coralie Nairn, search manager with Vernon Search and Rescue. “He could be anywhere in West Kelowna. He was a big walker, he could cover some distance, an average of six to eight kilometres an hour.

“The scope is huge.”

A drone team from Kamloops, along with two dog search and rescue teams and an RCMP plane also assisted in search efforts Friday.

Since the search began, several people have told search crews they had seen Hamilton within the past month, but no one has yet to report seeing him since Sunday. 

“Based on behaviour, this is very abnormal, it's not his regular pattern of behaviour at all, so our suspicion is an accident or perhaps a sudden medical (incident),” Nairn said.

West Kelowna residents can help search efforts by keeping an eye out for Hamilton.

“They can help by checking ditches and culverts around their home, looking for anything unusual,” Nairn said. “Looking in any shelters or structures, if he was trying to get out of elements for any reason. The weather was bad on Monday, Sunday night wasn't very nice.”

Nairn says they are hoping for additional help from other search and rescue teams across the Interior on Saturday.

“I've reached out to Merritt, Penticton, Oliver, Osoyoos, Princeton. We're reaching out to the whole region here."

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