British Columbia

Crews suspend search for experienced B.C. hiker after 7 days

The search for a hiker who vanished within a "spider web" of local trails near Coquitlam, B.C., has been suspended after seven fruitless days, RCMP and rescue crews announced Monday.

RCMP say it's too risky to continue sending search crews into challenging terrain

Ali Safar Naderi, 52, went missing on Aug. 23. RCMP announced Monday the search for the hiker has been suspended. (Coquitlam RCMP)

The search for an experienced hiker who vanished within a "spider web" of local trails near Coquitlam, B.C., has been suspended after seven fruitless days, RCMP and rescue crews announced Monday.

Ali Safer Naderi, 52, was reported missing after his car was found parked at the foot of Eagle Mountain on Aug. 23. RCMP and search and rescue crews have combed through the area by helicopter and on the ground nearly every day since, without success.

"The expert SAR volunteers from Coquitlam, and their colleagues from other search teams, have scoured every nearby trail and checked potential off-trail locations," RCMP Cpl. Michael McLaughlin wrote in a statement Monday.

"But given the timeframe that Naderi has been gone, his lack of supplies, and the vast backcountry where he went missing, it doesn't make sense to continue searching and potentially put our SAR teams at risk."

The statement said the police investigation into Naderi's disappearance remains open.

"We are going to keep looking for clues. If we do find anything that helps us zero in on an area where Mr. Naderi might be, there's every reason to bring back the rescuers. They'd be happy to go out and help again," McLaughlin told CBC News on Monday. 

"But until we get that kind of focused information ... it doesn't make sense to keep asking our searchers to go into more and more dangerous terrain."

An image from a trail camera on Eagle Mountain shows Ali Naderi hiking on Aug. 23, the day he went missing. (Coquitlam RCMP)

Naderi has been known to hike Eagle Mountain alone almost daily. His car was found parked in the 2100 block of Diamond Crescent, at the base of the peak.

Officers described the area as "a spider web of walking and hiking trails," making it nearly impossible to organize a search without knowing the route the hiker intended to take.

Search and rescue teams from across the Lower Mainland take part in a search for a missing 52-year-old hiker, Ali Naderi, near Eagle Mountain in Coquitlam, B.C., August 25, 2020. (Rafferty Baker/CBC)

Tips from the public and trail camera footage of Naderi helped search and rescue workers make progress, RCMP said, but not enough.

RCMP said there is "nothing to explain" what might have happened.

"We don't know what his motivation was or [what] his goals were that day," said McLaughlin.

Naderi is described as having brown eyes and salt and pepper hair, standing five feet and 10 inches tall, and weighing about 176 pounds.

Anyone with information is asked to call Coquitlam RCMP at 604-945-1550.

With files from Yvette Brend


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