Body of missing camper found; tragic end to Golden Ears Park search

The father who wandered away from camp on New Year's Day has been found dead in B.C.'s Alouette Lake, after an intensive search by rescue crews.

Father missing since New Year's Day has been found dead in Alouette Lake

Fifty per cent of calls for help to Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue come from Golden Ears Provincial Park where there is no cell phone coverage. (CBC)

A 39-year-old man who walked away from his camp on New Year's Day has been found dead in B.C.'s Alouette Lake.

Search and rescue crews spent Jan. 1 looking for a missing camper last seen early Friday when he left family and friends at Golden Ears Provincial Park in Maple Ridge, B.C. 

The missing man's fully-clothed body was spotted around 10 a.m. PT Saturday morning by a rescue worker.

Search and rescue officials said the 39-year-old father was last seen when he walked away from the camp site at about 2:30 a.m. on New Year's Day to set off fireworks on the beach.

His body was found in the water, and unlit fireworks were found onshore, Rick Laing of Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue told CBC News.

"It's unclear what happened or why he was in the water," Laing said.

The father had been celebrating New Year's Eve with friends and family.

Ridge Meadows RCMP say the B.C. Coroners Service has been called and will take over the investigation. Police say there are no signs of foul play.

A canine unit and a boat were called to aid in the search, and crews focused their efforts along the shoreline of Alouette Lake.

Golden Ears Provincial Park is about 50 kilometres east of Vancouver.

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