Shin Ik Noh search focuses on possible Vancouver sightings
64-year-old retired Korean-Canadian pastor with Alzheimer's missing since Sept. 18 in Coquitlam
The son of Shin Ik Noh says a number of possible sightings of his missing father have been recently been reported in Vancouver and on Saturday, a search party fanned out again to try to find him.
"Today we have around 40 people. We were actually hoping for more than that, so we could cover more area," Sam Noh said from the search headquarters in Thornton Park, off Main and Terminal.
Shin Ik Noh, 64, was last seen over a month ago, on Sept. 18 near his home in Coquitlam. The Korean-born man, a retired pastor, has Alzheimer's disease but is otherwise in good physical shape, and can walk long distances.
"We think that he's more than capable of seeking food, water and shelter," Noh said.
Since the man went missing, reports of possible sightings have come in from different areas, starting with the Burke Mountain area of Coquitlam. Other possible sightings followed in New Westminster, Port Coquitlam and finally Vancouver this week.
"We've actually had a quite a few recent sightings, [along] Commercial Drive as well as in the Downtown Eastside, and downtown Vancouver near Waterfront," Sam Noh said. "The sightings indicate that he's moving around."
Noh said Saturday's searchers were being asked to check out food courts and coffee shops — the types of places where some recent possible sightings were reported.
Noh's family has received hundred of tips since his father went missing. He says many of the tips, including the recent Vancouver tips, seem to be credible based on descriptions of appearance and behaviours.
Unfortunately, none of the tips came with crucial photographic evidence, and none of the spotters were verbally able to verify that the man spotted was his dad, Sam Noh said.
"We've had a lot of sightings, too, where people were afraid of approaching him, or seemed unsure," he said.
"This is an emergency matter for our family," Noh urged. "He's approachable…Go and talk to him, and ask his name. He'll know his name and his children, Sam and Rebecca."
Noh says it's also frustrating that some people have been ripping down Noh's posters — perhaps confusing his father with other men who had gone missing recently.