No trace of missing Whistler senior as day 4 of search draws to close – BC |


Four days into an increasingly desperate search for a missing senior in Whistler, B.C., crews aren’t giving up hope.

Robert McKean was last seen on Thanksgiving Day, while out walking his dog Lexi at the top of Alpine Way, according to Whistler RCMP.

Whistler Search and Rescue search manager Brad Sills said teams on the ground expanded their footprint to more remote hiking and mountain bike trails on Thursday.

Click to play video: 'Search continues in Whistler for missing senior'

Search continues in Whistler for missing senior

“We were blessed today with a number of teams from Vancouver Island. We had upwards of 40 people out in the field today,” he said.

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“We plan of having the search continue tomorrow with an additional effort with teams from southern B.C. and with new assignments.”

Crews have already combed all the trails in the area McKean was believed to have been walking.

McKean lives with dementia, and Sills said crews’ search efforts have been informed by research on dementia patient missing persons cases.

Approximately 25 per cent of dementia subjects are found within an 0.23-kilometre radius, another 50 per cent within a 0.8-kilometre radius and 75 per cent over about a kilometre-and-a-half,” he said.

“So the search area is fairly small, compared to some of the other regimes, but that gives us a lot of hope that we will meet with success.”

Click to play video: 'Huge search in Whistler for missing 80-year-old man and his dog'

Huge search in Whistler for missing 80-year-old man and his dog

As the search continues, concerns have been mounting about the weather, with overnight temperatures in the area dropping to eight degrees.

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Survivability in those conditions is estimated to be about 96 hours.

If crews are unable to locate McKean on Friday, the number of searchers on the ground could climb as high as 125 on Saturday.

McKean is described as five-feet-six-inches tall and 130 pounds with a slim build. He was last seen wearing a green jacket, a baseball hat, blue jeans and a blue Vancouver Canucks hoodie.

Lexi is a white and ginger Cavalier Spaniel.

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