Search for Dr. Donald Stephens continues in Bonshaw Hills, P.E.I.

Searchers are resuming their efforts Friday to find Dr. Donald Stephens, who was reported missing late Wednesday night after failing to return home from a run.

Dr. Donald Stephens has been missing since Wednesday, when he is believed to have gone for a run

RCMP police dog Dutch has searched 22 kilometres as part of efforts to find Stephens. (Steve Bruce/CBC)
Police are asking anyone who has seen Donald Stephens to contact them. (Submitted by RCMP)

Searchers are resuming their efforts to find 65-year-old Dr. Donald Stephens of Stratford, P.E.I., who was reported missing late Wednesday night after failing to return home from a run.

On Friday, the North River Fire Department dispatched a boat to search the West River. Thursday's search had focused on walking the banks of the river and scanning the river from the air in helicopters. 

Today's ground search will also differ from yesterday in that volunteers will meticulously scan small areas to be able to say with certainty that Stephens is not there.

RCMP police dog, Dutch, will also be part of today's search team again. Dutch's handler Cpl. Marc Periard said Dutch has sniffed his way through 22 kilometres of terrain so far.

P.E.I. Ground Search and Rescue volunteers map out their search strategy. (Steve Bruce/CBC)

One Cormorant helicopter is also part of today's search.

RCMP said yesterday's search was more of a "hasty" scan, with an objective to search the most probable areas for any sign of Stephens, a strategy police said has allowed them to eliminate some areas for today's search.

The area where the search is going on has a lot of hills with steep banks. There has been a large search area for Stephens, which includes Bonshaw Provincial Park, Strathgartney Park up to the Brookvale Ski Area and the Appin Road

Stephens is a marathon runner, and family and friends told police he has many running routes from Bolger Park Road, where his vehicle was found. They said he has run as far as Brookvale. 

The air search has covered that area, but the ground search has focused on the Bonshaw Hills.

RCMP said there has been a lot of interest from the public to help with the search. Police said anyone going out on their own to look for Stephens could hamper search efforts, as rescue teams could mistake a footprint or broken branch as a sign that Stephens may have been there.

Anyone who believes they could be of assistance to the search is asked to contact Queens District RCMP.

A sign shows the P.E.I. Ground Search and Rescue where to gather for the search. (Donna Allen/CBC)

RCMP have received tips from the public, but no definite sightings of Stephens. They continue to ask anyone who believes they may have seen Stephens, or has information that could help with the search to contact them.

Stephens is described as 5 feet 11 inches, 180 pounds, brown thinning hair with a slim and fit build and last seen wearing running clothes.

The area where the search is going on has a lot of hills with steep banks. (Donna Allen/CBC)