Thunder Bay

Police divers searching Thunder Bay, Ont. waterways for missing teen Josiah Begg

Police divers and helicopters have joined the search for Josiah Begg, the teen from Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug who has been missing in Thunder Bay.

OPP say divers requested by Thunder Bay police as search for 14-year-old Begg continues

The OPP's Underwater Search and Recovery Unit arrived in Thunder Bay on Wednesday to join the search for Josiah Begg. (Jody Porter / CBC)

Provincial police divers and helicopters have joined the search for a teen from Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug who has been missing in Thunder Bay, Ont. for almost two weeks.

Josiah Begg, 14, was last seen in the northwestern Ontario city on the evening of May 6. He was in Thunder Bay for medical appointments.

"We have our dive team up from Orillia, Gravenhurst and they have all their equipment ... in the river to check the river, the floodways, the waterways in the Thunder Bay city area," said Cst. Cameron Howard, with the Thunder Bay OPP.

The provincial police service's help was requested by Thunder Bay police, Howard said. In a written release, city police said the OPP helicopter started its aerial search on Wednesday and will continue Thursday.

The OPP's Underwater Search and Recovery Unit arrived in the city Wednesday to map out the area, and at first light on Thursday, started searching the McIntyre River, Howard said. The decision to start on that waterway came from advice from city police investigators, he added.
Cst. Cameron Howard (right) is with the Thunder Bay OPP. Divers, including Cst. Tim Simmons (left) are searching Thunder Bay's McIntyre River. (Jody Porter / CBC)

He couldn't say Thursday morning whether divers are treating these efforts as a search or a recovery operation. "We're covering all the bases, we're doing everything we possibly can to assist the Thunder Bay city police," he said, adding that he feels for Josiah Begg's family.

Specialized sonar equipment, deployed by police on their boats, fires beams into the water which map the river beneath the surface, Howard said, adding that the information is used to determine whether divers should enter the water for visual inspection.

Surveillance video showed Begg was near a bridge over the Neebing-McIntyre floodway in the hours before his disappearance. City police said on Monday there was no evidence he went into the water.
OPP say sonar equipment is used to map the river below the surface and that information helps determine spots where divers submerge. (Jody Porter / CBC)

Josiah Begg is described as being five feet, eight inches tall with a slim build. He has short brown hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a red baseball cap, a red hooded sweatshirt and grey and white sweatpants.

Anyone with information is being asked to contact Thunder Bay police at (807) 684-1200 or the Nishnawbe Aski Nation Search Command Centre at (807) 630-1982. The command centre is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET, with daily meetings at 10 a.m. ET.

Police are also asking residents to check their yards, outbuildings, trailers or boats to ensure nothing is overlooked.