UPDATE: SAR personnel from across Island join in as search continues for Ben Kilmer

The volunteers are searching a five-kilometre area in the Menzies Road/Cowichan Lake Road area

Rescue personnel are searching for 41-year-old Ben Kilmer. (submitted)

Almost 24 hours after he was reported missing, there is no sign of 41-year-old Ben Kilmer.

Kilmer’s vehicle was found running on Cowichan Lake Road Wednesday evening, with personal effects inside, and a search was launched.

Search and Rescue personnel from Cowichan, Ladysmith, Juan de Fuca, Nanaimo and the Saanich Peninsula are now involved.

“The first volunteers started last night and a fresh crew came on at midnight,” Cowichan SAR manager Vickie Weber said at the base that has been set up not far from where Kilmer’s van was found.

“We had another crew come on this morning at around seven and there will be another group arriving after supper.”

The volunteers are searching a five-kilometre area in the Menzies Road/Cowichan Lake Road area on the outskirts of Duncan. It is mostly privately owned land, heavily-treed but with a number of residences.

“The volunteers are going door-to-door, asking people to check their garages and outbuildings.”

Ben’s wife Tonya Kilmer posted to Facebook Thursday afternoon that she is grateful for the outpouring of love and support for her and her family. She encouraged anyone willing to help with the search to head to the site with the appropriate gear.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of Benjamin Kilmer, contact the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP at 250-748-5522 or if you wish to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

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