UPDATE: 6:20 P.M.
A boy missing for 48 hours has been found according to Quesnel Search and Rescue.
They shared the news on Twitter just after 6 p.m on Friday, March 26.
“Subject has been found safe!” their tweet reads. “Thank you to all the volunteers.”
Subject has been found safe! Thank you to all volunteers.
— Quesnel Search & Rescue (@QuesnelSAR) March 27, 2021
The boy, who is 12-years-old, had been missing since Wednesday, March 24. Rescuers had been searching just south of Hixon.
A few minutes later, Const. Jennifer Cooper, spokesperson for the Prince George RCMP confirmed the news via email, noting he was found “safe and sound.”
UPDATE: 5 P.M.
Prince George RCMP have updated the status of the search for a missing 12-year-old boy. Luke was last seen on Wednesday, March 24 at 5:30 p.m.
A press release from the police notes more than 35 search and rescue members from organizations across the Cariboo are out searching using the “open-grid” method just south of Hixon. Search and Rescue are not calling for volunteers from the public at this time.
“Crews are working with extremely hilly and deep terrain in some areas and clear cuts or dense brush in other places,” said search and rescue coordinator Dave Merritt. “There is everything from thigh-deep snow on an adult to bare ground. The numerous creeks and rivers in the region are also factors we are dealing with. Search and rescue crews are using ATVs, side-by-sides and even horses to increase their search area.”
Aircraft and dogs from the RCMP are also assisting in the search. Police are exploring the possibility Luke, who they called a Prince George resident, may have been picked up and travelled out of the area.
“We are concerned that Luke may have attempted to hitchhike with a stranger, making us worried for his safety,” said Const. Jennifer Cooper, spokesperson for the Prince George RCMP. “There is also the very real possibility that he is still within the area where search and rescue is concentrating their efforts. Our concern is that there would be exposure to the cold overnight, as temperatures fell to -1 degrees Celsius during the last two days.”
If you believe you have seen Luke or know of his whereabouts, please call your local police detachment immediately.
“Luke may not comprehend conversation at his own age level,” the news release notes.
Prince George RCMP also noted the missing boy is 12 years old, and not 13 as they originally said.
UPDATE: 2:30 P.M.
Prince George Search and Rescue manager Dave Merritt said as of Friday afternoon there were about 35 SAR members as well as CN Rail and local highway workers searching the Hixon area for Luke, missing since Wednesday.
Merritt noted SAR does not need help from the public at this time, however, they are thankful for all the support and will put out a public call for help if needed.
“We appreciate everyone’s efforts and thoughts for us and for the family, we are doing everything we can.”
The search for a missing boy in the north Cariboo is intensifying Friday, March 26.
Several search and rescue teams from across the North and Cariboo region were out in the night and again this morning in the Hixon area assisting the Prince George RCMP and Prince George Search and Rescue in the search for a 13-year-old boy named Luke. Images from the search show teams walking through snowy forests and train tracks in the dark looking for the boy.
13 NVSAR members joined SAR volunteers from across the central interior in the search tonight near Hixon and will continue Friday. If you have any info contact the RCMP.
Luke was last seen on Wednesday, March 24 at 5:30 p.m. Mounties requested help from the public Thursday, noting investigators believed the youth could have been traveling south on Highway 97 and may not comprehend conversation at his own age level.
Quesnel Search and Rescue was one of many teams called to assist.
“At least five different SAR groups are on task searching for the subject,” stated the post, noting SAR teams from Quesnel, Williams Lake, 100 Mile House, Vanderhoof and Smithers are on scene for the search which is being led by Prince George Search and Rescue.
The Nechako Valley Search and Rescue brought 13 NVSAR members to help.
Luke is described as being four feet tall with a slim build with light brown curly hair and hazel eyes. He was last seen wearing a green and yellow coat with duct tape on it, a black hoodie, and black pants. He may be carrying a ball of twine and have a “P.J. Masks” backpack with extra clothes.
Hixon is located between Prince George and Quesnel.