Jeffrey.Boucher.teacher.whitby

Police say Jeffrey Boucher, 52, went jogging on Monday, Jan. 13, and never returned home. (Durham Regional Police)

The mother of 52-year-old Whitby, Ont., teacher Jeffrey Boucher, who was reported missing Monday morning, says she is confident her son will return home soon. 

Police on Thursday said they plan to start scaling back their ground search for the father of two with roots in Kitchener after a four-day large scale effort yielded no conclusive evidence of his whereabouts.

"They haven't found Jeff anywhere and they have the most amazing search team out there with dogs, the helicopter," his mother, Mary Boucher, told Craig Norris on The Morning Edition on Thursday. 

Durham Regional Police Sgt. Nancy van Rooy said Wednesday it is possible he "stepped away" voluntarily. She said if that was the case, she urged him to get in touch with police to let them know he is safe.

That revelation gives Mary Boucher hope. "I am confident Jeff will come home," she said.

It's thought that her son, an avid runner who went for long runs almost daily, went for a jog early Monday, although van Rooy said no one saw him leave that morning.

His family grew concerned when he didn't arrive home in time to go to work as a teacher at Bowmanville High School. 

"Jeff is so dependable, so punctual," said his mother. "They knew by 7:30 or 8:00 [a.m.] that something was wrong."  

Jeffrey Boucher grew up in Waterloo Region, where his parents Mary and Bruce still live. As well as teaching in a high school, Boucher is a skier, often taking his daughters skiing at Beaver Valley, where his family has a chalet. 

"He's a quiet person, he's a loner, but he also loves his family," Mary said.  

"We're really thankful for everyone who is concerned and I want them to know it's really appreciated."