British Columbia

Search team finds body of 3rd missing Vancouver Island man

After days of searching, the body of a third man who went missing from Sooke, B.C., last week has been found.

Trio disappeared after leaving a get-together late Friday; truck found in Sooke River

Three men, all aged 20, were reported missing Friday. The bodies of all three have now been recovered. (CHEK News)

After days of searching, the body of a third man who went missing from Sooke, B.C., last week has been found.

"One of our search teams spotted the third boy along the shoreline, on the bottom of the river," said Kathryn Farr, from Juan de Fuca Search and Rescue, adding that she thinks the tragedy was nothing more than "a very big accident."

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen disappeared together Friday night after leaving a gathering with friends.

The truck they were driving was discovered in the Sooke River on Sunday, and two bodies were found shortly after. RCMP confirmed Tuesday afternoon a third body had been recovered near Sooke River Road. 

Police do not believe the young men were victims of crime.

Andy Watson from the BC Coroners Service says the circumstances around all three deaths are being investigated.

"Our thoughts are with the families of all three of the victims and all those who have been and are impacted by this terribly tragic event," Staff Sgt. Brett Sinden of the Sooke RCMP said in a news release. 

"We would like to thank all the volunteers who have assisted in the search over the course of the last few days."

Farr said teams are exhausted emotionally and physically after days of searching, "but at least we found him and this family can now move on."

Mills, Blackmore and Jensen, all 20 years old, went missing at the peak of a rainstorm that dumped more than 100 millimetres of rain across southern Vancouver Island. Many roads were flooded or washed out, and police say water levels in the Sooke River were much higher than usual.

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.

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