Search for missing hiker Sylvia Apps baffles searchers in Strathcona Park
The experienced hiker has not been seen since July 8, but searchers did find her backpack
A week-long search for a missing hiker on Vancouver Island has been called off after searchers found all her belongings, but not the missing woman herself.
More than 175 volunteers from 19 teams from across B.C. used search dogs and aircraft to search for Sylvia Apps, 69, of Courtenay, after the experienced hiker failed to return from a five-day solo hiking trek in Strathcona Park, a large mountainous park in the centre of Vancouver Island.
Searchers found her backpack in one location, her walking sticks and camera in another, and her name in the logbook on one of the peaks, but not Apps herself.
Paul Berry, the president of the Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue says it's the first time they have found all of someone's belongings, but not the person.
"It has provided a real roller coaster for both the family and the SAR teams. Clues you think are pointing in the right direction don't pan out to give you anything more," said Berry.
"Talking to members who have been SAR members for many, many years, this is unique," Berry.
Paul Berry believes Apps, who was properly equipped for the hike, likely suffered a medical emergency, like heat stroke and was unable to think clearly while awaiting rescue.
Apps left on the hike from Paradise Meadows on July 8, and was supposed to return on July 13.