Family continues to search for missing 81-year-old Bowser man

Officials called off the search last week but RCMP say they will continue to follow leads

The family of missing 81-year-old James Roberts from Qualicum Bay is still searching.

The official search was called off Sunday, Feb. 7, but family and friends are still searching and the RCMP and Arrowsmith Search and Rescue are actively following leads, said Robert’s daughter Corinne Redgate.

“We’re in regular contact with them, I don’t want people to think they just walked away,” she said, with several cases of police responding quickly to check on leads.

Roberts, who suffers with dementia, went missing around

10:30 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 4 from his home near the Lighthouse Community Centre. The search effort peaked on Saturday with a record 62 search and rescue personnel from across the mid-Island combing the area with the help of a helicopter, dogs and horses.

At the end of the week there were about 10 family and friends regularly involved, delivering posters across the region and checking areas.

“There are preparation kits for earthquakes, but not for losing a loved one,” she said, admitting it is hard on the family, but they are “trying really hard to keep upbeat, it’s easy to get down,” she said, but that doesn’t help. “The outpouring from the community has been outstanding,” she said of all the volunteer help and donated services.

The family urges people to remain vigilant, checking their own properties, more than once, and reporting any tips at all, no matter how small they seem, immediately to the RCMP. She said the best tip they’ve received, an older man on the side of the Alberni Highway, wasn’t very useful when they received it three days later. She pointed out that people should co-ordinate with the family or police before searching since there can be private property and safety issues. The best way to get involved is through the ‘Finding Jim Roberts’ Facebook page.

Roberts is described as Caucasian, 6’2″, slender with short grey hair, last seen wearing blue jeans, a green jacket, brown and white hat and glasses. Anyone with information should call the Oceanside RCMP at 250-248-6111.

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