Body found in Kamloops identified as missing wildfire evacuee

David Jeff was reported missing on July 31, 2017, while Williams Lake was under an evacuation order due to wildfires threatening the city.

David Jeff was reported missing July 31 during wildfire evacuations in the Cariboo

A body found near the Domtar pulp mill in Kamloops, B.C., has been identified as that of David Jeff, a 67-year-old man who went missing during the evacuation of several southern Interior communities in July 2017. (Kamloops RCMP)

Kamloops RCMP have confirmed that the body found in a pond near the Domtar pulp mill on March 7 is that of Williams Lake man David Jeff.

He was reported missing on July 31, 2017, while Williams Lake was under an evacuation order due to wildfires threatening the city.   

When Jeff, 67, went missing, police conducted an extensive investigation. Family and friends searched on their own.

Esk'etemc Chief Charlene Belleau, the organizer of several searches for Jeff, who is one of her childhood friends, told CBC news that she was planning another search in the spring.

"On one hand, I was glad that they found him and that there's closure for the family," Belleau said. "But also, sadness that he wasn't alive."

Belleau said the family is preparing a memorial service for Jeff and also a cleansing ceremony at the site where his body was found.

At this time, police are calling Jeff's death not suspicious.

The investigation is still ongoing and Kamloops RCMP are asking anyone with information about Jeff's activities prior to his death to contact them at 250-828-3000.

With files from Brady Strachan