The search continues

Police continue to search, search and rescue teams stand down for a brief rest

23-year old Alex Brown is missing in the St. Mary River area.

23-year old Alex Brown is missing in the St. Mary River area.

The search for 23-year old Alex Brown, missing since last Saturday, July 5, is not over, but search and rescue teams who have been working long hours for several days  in the heat are standing down for a rest, says Kimberley RCMP Cpl. Chris Newel. Police are continuing to search.

“Search and rescue teams have been actively searching the area along the river downstream from St. Marys Lake for over three days without success,” Newel said. “Search teams have been concentrating their efforts in and around the river in the hopes of finding clues as to Alex Brown’s whereabouts. Teams from around the southern region of BC including, Kimberley, Cranbrook, Sparwood, Fernie, Golden, Columbia Valley, Revelstoke and Penticton have spent some long hot days combing the area. Over 50 volunteers have assisted in the search efforts. A helicopter assisted the teams during the three days and a fixed wing aircraft covered the length of the river from Koocanusa to St Mary Lake. A police dog attended the scene in the early stages.

“At this time the physical searching has been scaled back. The initial response by SAR was immediate with a concentrated effort by multiple teams. There was a huge influx of resources from throughout this region of BC but after three and half long days of concerted searching, the teams had to stand down to replenish resources and rest before resuming.”

Still, with all that effort there has not been a single clue as to the whereabouts of Alex Brown.

“Through the course of the search to date the teams haven’t located any evidence or clues which would allow them to focus the direction of their search efforts,” Newel said. “The RCMP and SAR Command will continue to assess the situation and intend to immediately follow up on any clues or evidence received. A further major search effort is being planned which will be initiated this weekend.”

Newel pointed out that the search and rescue teams are all volunteers, who must take time off from their jobs to perform the searches.

”Swift water rescue technicians have spent a considerable amount of time on the river, checking islands, log jams and land areas not readily accessible by ground search teams,” he said. “This type of search involves specially trained and equipped volunteers that are dedicated to working towards a common goal.”

Newel says that rivers levels rise and drop and it is hoped that changes in flow may yield some clues.

The investigation is still very active, he says, and if anybody has further information please contact the Kimberley RCMP.  Alex is 5’5’’, 130 pounds with shoulder length blonde hair and moustache. He was wearing brown shorts at the time.”