Calgary

Relatives plan private search in B.C. for plane that left Lethbridge 2 years ago

Family members of a young couple missing in southeastern British Columbia for nearly two years hope a renewed search will bring some closure.

Sydney Robillard and Alex Simons failed to land their single-engine Piper in Kamloops

Sydney Robillard, left, and Alex Simons, were never located after their aircraft failed to arrive in their hometown of Kamloops, B.C., on June 8, 2017. (Cranbrook RCMP)

Family members of a young couple missing in southeastern British Columbia for nearly two years hope a renewed search will bring some closure.

Kamloops pilot Alex Simons and his girlfriend Sydney Robillard, of Lethbridge, Alta., haven't been seen since June 8, 2017, when Simons took off from Cranbrook on the final leg of a flight to Kamloops from Lethbridge.

The search for the pair, both in their 20s, and their Piper Warrior has covered nearly 40,000 square kilometres of rugged terrain, mostly in the areas of St. Mary Valley and Redding Creek, northwest of Cranbrook.

But a relative of Simons, Natalie Lindgren, says new information from a local pilot has shifted attention to the area of Lost Dog Valley, north of Kimberley.

Lindgren is organizing a three-day search of that region, set to begin May 8.

Weather near Cranbrook was deteriorating as Simons and Robillard took off at around 3 p.m., and Lindgren says the pilot remembers seeing a Piper Warrior fly over his house at about 3:15, in a line that would have put the plane close to the Lost Dog Valley area.

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