No one was coming to them with information, so the RCMP decided to go looking for any evidence they could find in connection with the disappearance of a boy north of Prince George last summer.
RCMP conducted an air search Saturday of the area where Joseph Andrews went missing while tubing on the Salmon River August 4. It was followed up with a ground search by about 25 Provincial Emergency Program personnel Sunday.
The RCMP helicopter happened to be in town over the weekend, and the PEP searchers had a training exercise scheduled. Those factors, as well as warm weather and lack of foliage, prompted the searchers to comb the area one more time where the 10-year-old Dawson Creek boy went missing.
The search proved fruitless, however, with no new clues being found.
The disappearance of Andrews has baffled police since it was first reported. In contrast to the high profile disappearance of treeplanter Nicole Hoar, there were virtually no clues into the little boy’s disappearance.
“We have not found a single shred of physical evidence from his person from that day,” said RCMP Constable Mike Herchuk.
He was last seen wearing a dark shirt, navy blue knee-length shorts, a yellow ball cap, an orange life jacket and was riding a bright yellow rafting tube with a 20-foot yellow rope attached.
No trace of his clothes or the tube was ever found. A footprint found on a downstream island was also not conclusively linked to Andrews, said Herchuk.
Police have received no Crimestoppers tips nor any anonymous phone calls, and interviews with potential witnesses have all led nowhere, he added.
“As it stands right now, it remains a missing persons case. We don’t have any evidence at this time to believe there was any criminal connection.”
The Andrews case stands in stark contrast to the case of Nicole Hoar, who went missing while hitchhiking west of Prince George on June 21.
Police have received over 1,400 tips in relation to that case, said Herchuk. The six officers assigned to the case still have over 100 tips to sift through.
Nonetheless, he said, after six months of investigating, “the flow of information that is coming through on that case has definitely slowed down.”
Shortly after Hoar disappearance, police determined that there was another female hitchhiker matching Hoar’s description who may have accounted for a number of the tips. Police have still failed to find the unidentified woman.
There has also been no luck finding a vehicle that may or may not have picked up Hoar.
The car was a unique orangey-yellow colour and was said to have pulled over near where Hoar disappeared. Police have received tips leading them to investigate a number of potential suspect vehicles. All cars have been cleared of any connection to the case, said Herchuk.
The Hoar investigation, like the Joseph Andrews disappearance, remains unsolved.