RCMP underwater team aids search for 3rd missing man after 2 bodies found
Men disappeared after leaving a get-together late Friday, RCMP say; their truck was found in Sooke River
Dozens of RCMP officers, an underwater recovery team and search-and-rescue personnel are continuing to look for a missing man from Sooke, B.C., on Monday, hours after discovering two bodies believed to be the men he vanished with on Friday.
Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen disappeared after leaving a gathering with friends together around 11 p.m. PT on Friday.
Their truck, a blue Dodge Dakota, was found in the Sooke River off Sooke River Road on Sunday. The two bodies, which haven't been identified, were found shortly after.
Mounties said finding the third man is the priority Monday.
"They're hopeful that maybe the person walked out, but at this time we're focusing our energy where the other two bodies were located," said RCMP Cpl. Chris Manseau.
"He's still considered a missing person until otherwise located, but we will be working with our underwater recovery team on the chance that person is in the water."
The two bodies were not with the truck and they were not found together, according to RCMP. Manseau said there's nothing to indicate the disappearances are suspicious in nature.
The men, all 20, went missing at the peak of a rainstorm which dumped upwards of 100 millimetres of rain across southern Vancouver Island. Many roads were flooded or washed out, and Manseau said water levels in the Sooke River were "significantly" higher than usual.
"There's lots of areas of that part of Sooke that were flooded that normally aren't, so we're just being very cautious out there for rescuers and all of our members," the officer said.
The truck remains in the water, Manseau said.
Sooke is a community of 13,000 on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, west of Victoria. Hundreds of locals volunteered to search for the missing men over the weekend, combing the swamped, wooded area for hours as the storm rolled over.
"The Sooke detachment commander really wants to thank the efforts put in by the town and all the volunteers who came out to try to locate these men," said Manseau.
"He really stressed to me that he's really impressed with Sooke and very appreciative of their efforts."