Nfld. & Labrador

Day 3 of search underway for N.L. man who went missing in storm

An air and ground search has resumed for Joshua Wall, who has not been heard from since walking into a raging Newfoundland blizzard on Friday afternoon.

Joshua Wall, 26, left his family home Friday afternoon to walk to a friend's house

At its peak over the weekend, there were 40 people searching for Roaches Line resident Joshua Wall. Volunteers with the Avalon North Wolverines search and rescue group, with support from the RCMP, are leading the search effort. (Kayla Hounsell/CBC)

A scaled-back ground search is resuming for Joshua Wall, who has not been heard from since walking into a raging Newfoundland blizzard that brought record amounts of snow on Friday afternoon.

For a third day, police officers and volunteer search and rescue specialists with the Avalon North Wolverines will be scouring the terrain near the Conception Bay community of Roaches Line.

"They are here. They are mobilizing now," Wayne Wall, Joshua's father, said Monday morning.

Unlike Saturday and Sunday, however, there are no plans to deploy a helicopter, said RCMP civilian spokesperson Glenda Power.

Wall, 26, left his Roaches Line home to walk to a friend's house at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, as a winter storm intensified, and has not been heard from since. (Submitted)

Searchers are assessing whether there's a need to recall air support to the area, she added.

Power said the strategy Monday is to widen the search beyond the known trails in the wilderness area between Roaches Line and the community of Marysvale.

Joshua has now been missing for three full days, and his family remains hopeful that he found some type of shelter and will be rescued.

"My son is out there somewhere. He's most likely cold. Hopefully he's hung up into a shelter," Wayne told CBC's Kayla Hounsell on Sunday.

The search was delayed Monday morning by another overnight snowfall, with 10-plus centimetres, followed by drizzle, complicating search efforts.

Joshua Wall has been dealing with anxiety, and was not feeling well Friday morning, said his father. 

By early afternoon, Wayne Wall said, his son was feeling better, and decided to walk to a friend's house in Marysvale, a distance of 10 kilometres by road.

It was later learned that Joshua decided to enter the woods and travel along a backcountry trail. His last known communication was on Friday at 1 p.m., when he messaged his location to his friend, and writing that he was lost and his phone battery was low.

An official search could not be mobilized until Saturday because of record amounts of snow and heavy drifting that prevented police and volunteers from reaching the scene.

When asked how long police will continue the search, Power said an assessment will be made at the end of the day.

"At this point, there is no talk of ending the search," she said. "But it is now Day 4 since he's been missing, and we'll carefully make that decision."

At its peak, there were 40 people searching for Joshua, said Power.

Meanwhile, Power urged area residents to check their properties, and any buildings in which Joshua might have sought shelter from the storm.

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