British Columbia

Liang Jin search called off in Vancouver's North Shore Mountains

More than 30 volunteer search and rescue experts trekked into a remote section of Vancouver's North Shore Mountains on Tuesday looking for missing hiker Liang Jin, but found no sign of him.

North Shore Rescue searched for Liang Jin in the Lynn Headwaters and Hanes Valley areas

Members of the North Shore Rescue team board a helicopter in North Vancouver to resume the search for Liang Jin on Tuesday morning. (Richard Zussman/CBC)

More than 30 volunteer search and rescue experts trekked into a remote section of Vancouver's North Shore Mountains on Tuesday looking for missing hiker Liang Jin, but found no sign of him. 

Jin told his father he was going hiking, but didn't say where. His internet history suggests he may have taken transit to the North Shore Mountains. (Vancouver Police)

The 21-year-old resident of downtown Vancouver has been missing since Dec. 31, when he sent his father a text message saying he was going hiking, but failed to say where.

Since then, police have searched his computer and found evidence he may have been heading to the mountainous trails on Vancouver's North Shore.

"We had access to information on Mr.Jin's computer that leads us to believe he might have headed to the North Shore, so that's one of the areas we are focusing our investigation," Sgt. Randy Fincham said Monday.

While police believe Jin may have taken public transit from downtown Vancouver, they have not actually confirmed he went to the North Shore.

"Our investigation isn't limited to the North Shore," Fincham said.

Hanes Valley trail searched

North Shore Rescue volunteers called off the search Tuesday evening after they said they had searched every reasonable place in the Lynn Headwaters and Hanes Valley areas where the missing hiker might have been. They had asked volunteers with several other teams including Coquitlam Search and Rescue to join them as they focused their efforts on a particularly rugged trail that has been closed since the fall.

North Shore Rescue volunteers search by helicopter Jan. 5 in Hanes Valley, one of the locations Jin talked about going hiking. (Peter Murray)

Jin is an avid hiker and familiar with the North Shore trails. But the Hanes Valley route is difficult during good weather, and treacherous at this time of year.

Search teams have had to be careful because recent heavy snow followed by heavy rain has created a high risk of avalanches and mudslides in the area.

Jin's parents searched the trails on their own Sunday and will be searching the Baden Powell trail on Tuesday.

"They are upset. They are quite concerned," said North Shore Rescue's Allan McMordie on Monday evening.

Vancouver police will continue their investigation, and if there is any more specific information about what trail he was on, the search will resume. 

Hikers: Tell someone your plans

McMordie said the lack of clear information about Jin's plans makes the search efforts particularly difficult.

Police are seeking the public's help finding Liang Jin, who is believed to have gone hiking on New Year's Eve. (Vancouver Police)

He urges other hikers to tell someone where and when they are hiking, even if they just post a message on Twitter or Facebook telling people where they plan to go, when they expect to be back, and what to do if they do not return.

"That way it doesn't go for days before someone reports you missing," McMordie said.

Police describe Jin as:

  • Asian.
  • Five feet six inches tall, with a slim build.
  • May be carrying a black Salomon brand backpack with white stripes on the straps.

Jin is also known to go by the name Leon Joy. Anyone who has seen Jin is asked to call 911 immediately.

With files from Renee Fillippone