An 85 year-old Invermere man reported missing in the Jumbo Creek area yesterday was found dead earlier today, RCMP say.
The male was first reported missing after he failed to return home from a trip to the area for firewood and hunting on September 20, which was due to end at around 2 p.m. Family members headed to the area to search for the man, but were unsuccessful.
Columbia Valley RCMP were contacted, and the Invermere Search and Rescue team was activated. An immediate search of the area was conducted with no result.
At first light today, RCMP and search and rescue members from Invermere, Golden and Kimberley continued their search using quads, and a Kamloops RCMP helicopter was dispatched to the area.
Volunteers from the Civil Air Search and Rescue Association also joined the effort — and it was a volunteer pilot from the association who eventually spotted the missing man’s overturned vehicle, providing police and search and rescue teams on the ground with directions.
Columbia Valley Staff Sgt. Marko Shehovac says officers found the white vehicle “well off” a dirt road. The deceased was located outside the vehicle.
The man’s cause of death has not yet been determined.
“All we know is that the vehicle was off the road — well off the road — so why he went off road, was it a medical reason?” says Shehovac. “We don’t know. He was in good health, but at 85 anything can happen.”
It’s also unclear why or how the man left his vehicle at this time.
“He was outside the vehicle, but the doors were closed, so we don’t know if he got in the accident and got out and then collapsed, or if he tried to maneuver out and started to roll again and jumped out — we really don’t know.”
Shehovak says the man’s family described him as an experienced visitor to the backcountry, who had made similar trips many times before. He was also reported to be in good health.
RCMP are not releasing the man’s name at this time.
The investigation into the incident is ongoing.