No evidence of Welstead found, SAR halted

No evidence of Welstead found, SAR halted

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Coast Reporter
March 19, 2012

Ben Ingram/Staff Writer

The search and rescue (SAR) operation to locate 56-year-old Gibsons man Greg Welstead, missing since March 12, came to a close Saturday.

While SAR could be activated again at any time, a lack of evidence is holding back the search.

The formal search for Greg Welstead has been halted, but family and friends of the Gibsons man missing since Monday, March 12, are still hopeful he will be found.

Welstead's car was found crashed into a tree on March 12 and the driver had left the scene. The next day, search teams began canvassing the area for any sign of the man, who had reportedly been acting ‘out of character' the day of his disappearance.

“We have no idea where he is, other than the car. We can account for his whereabouts early that morning,” said Sgt. Russ Howard of the Sunshine Coast RCMP. “The police investigation is still ongoing, looking at any possible information we get.”

The news of Welstead's disappearance has spread to surrounding areas, with local RCMP keeping provincial media outlets and the head office of E Division apprised of the effort.

People with information relating to the disappearance of Welstead are being encouraged to contact the Sunshine Coast RCMP at 604-885-2266.

On Saturday, March 17, a SAR operation involving an estimated 75 volunteers made their last canvass of the local areas near Welstead's last known whereabouts.

That search, like others throughout the week, failed to turn up any indication as to what happened to him after his car was found.

The SAR team, which began its operation on March 13, searched as far as Sullivan Road in Roberts Creek from their command centre on Reed and Henry Road. Many structures in the area were also inspected, with other volunteers walking along Highway 101 and Reed Road.

“We've been stood down until something further comes along. If there's any evidence found or if somebody reports that they saw him for sure, we would probably go back out and search that particular area,” said SAR volunteer Robert Allen. “I think we did the best we could and hopefully something positive will turn up.”

Welstead is described as a Caucasion, 6'1 tall and around 200 pounds. He has brown hair and eyes, may be wearing glasses and was last seen wearing a burgundy fleece jacket and black track pants.

The SAR team had been performing closed-grid search operations in the area, working under the pretense that Welstead had survived a car accident and wandered away from the location.

After finding no clues, the operation was halted on Saturday night.

Police said the accident occurred sometime between 6:30 and 8:30 a.m. on March 12. They were alerted of the accident later that day at 5:50 p.m.

The search team had included volunteers from locations throughout the region, including Lions Bay, Squamish, Surrey, Coquitlam, Nanaimo and Powell River.

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