Tom Billings, British tourist, confirmed dead after remains found near Cypress Mountain Resort
Billings went missing after hiking Vancouver's North Shore mountains in November 2013
Tom Billings, the 22-year-old British tourist who went missing on B.C.'s North Shore mountains in 2013, has been confirmed dead.
The BC Coroners Service confirmed Friday morning that remains found last month near the Cypress ski area are those of the hiker from Oxford, England.
He had been missing since Nov. 25, 2013.
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A hiker discovered Billings's remains on April 11, police said Friday. Foul play is not suspected.
The family was informed of the identified remains by police Thursday night. They have since released a statement thanking the Vancouver Police Department and everyone involved in the search and rescue effort.
"The family wants to thank the general public for the support and assistance in the search to find their son Tom over the last 2½ years," the statement reads.
"The family specifically wishes to express their deepest appreciation to the members of the North Shore Search and Rescue team and the helicopter pilots of Talon Aviation, the staff and members of the British consulate in Vancouver for all their continued support, and finally to the VPD in general and the Missing Persons Unit in particular for their continued and persistent work to find their son Tom."
Failed to complete travel plans
At the time of Billings's disappearance, two hikers told North Shore Search and Rescue they talked with the young man at about 1:30 p.m. PT on Hanes Valley Trail, a difficult hiking route in Lynn Headwaters Regional Park in North Vancouver.
Police say he was spotted earlier that day on East Broadway near McLean Drive, at about 9 a.m.
However, he wasn't reported missing until seven to 10 days later, when he failed to complete travel plans on his eight-week tour of North America.
A year after he went missing, his father, Martin Billings travelled to Vancouver to raise awareness of his son.
"Every day is very difficult," he said at the time.
"We still hope for the impossible, or maybe the improbable, I should say. But it's a very bleak picture, I'm afraid."