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  Ground Search Winding Down for Missing Whitby Man

Jan 20, 2014 16:57 ET

The co-ordinated ground search for a missing Whitby man is being scaled down after seven days of extensive work.

Staff Sergeant Steve Jones and D/Sgt. Mitch Martin provided the media with an update on Monday morning on police efforts to locate 52-year-old Jeffrey BOUCHER.

S/Sgt. Jones indicated his team of specially-trained searcher has conducted a co-ordinated ground search under best practices identified by the OPOAC – the Ontario Public Order Advisory Committee and our trained Search Masters.

We have been utilizing on-duty personnel as well members of our Public Order Unit and OVERT. All of the volunteers have received specialized training in how to conduct searches under our best practices model.

We’ve had over 100 different personnel involved over the past seven days. We’ve also had the immediate support of Air1 – our helicopter and its FLIR camera.

At this point, we believe we have searched the five-kilometer immediate area as well as the preferred running routes used by Mr. BOUCHER. We have not found any physical evidence of Mr. Boucher.

Mr. BOUCHER would cover upwards of 10 to 15 kilometers on a run, in any given direction, so some of these search arms have reached out 25 kilometers. This is a very large, complex and extended geographical area and weather is always a challenge.

This search has been managed in a cost effective and efficient way. We have been using on-duty personnel from our divisions as well as officers from our specialized support units, such as the Air Support Unit. These frontline officers have received special training in conducting searches.

We have also been using the talents of our volunteer Auxiliary Unit as well as the specially-trained search volunteers from OVERT. Our costs have been kept to a minimum at this point. We have responded in a very cost efficient and effective manner.

We are now scaling back on the ground search efforts, based on best practices. Our Command truck will remain here for at least another 24 hours in case any citizen wants to come forward with new information.

D/Sgt. Mitch Martin said his investigative team have followed every lead brought forward and have found so signs of foul play or any other triggers that might explain Mr. Boucher's absence.

The DRPS has been in touch with the family on a daily basis since the call came in on Monday morning. We are working closely with them and will continue to support them and assist them in their time of need.

The DRPS is continuing its investigation and, like every unresolved Missing Person case, it will remain open until we locate Mr. Boucher.

Below are attached files.
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S/Sgt. Jones Speaks to Reports on Jan. 20 (JPG file, 225.2K bytes)
D/Sgt. Mitch Martin Responds to Media Inquiries on Jan. 20 (JPG file, 161.2K bytes)