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Search Called Off for Missing B.C. Hiker Laurence Philippsen

After leaving for a hike through Strathcona on June 29

Laurence Philippsen, 65, of Black Creek left for a 40-kilometre solo hike through Strathcona Park on June 29. He hasn’t been heard from since. After a lengthy search, rescuers have been called back.

Search and rescue crews began looking for Philippsen by ground and air last week after he failed to return home. “Suspension of a search is always the most difficult decision that can be made because there are many questions left,” said Paul Berry, manager for Comox Valley Search and Rescue.

“He was never able to signal, so there is a concern that he was unresponsive from before the time the search even began,” Berry said.

“Over the four days of searching, over hundreds and hundreds of hours, not a single clue came forward to direct us towards where Laurence may be.” Philippsen had the skills to navigate the remote area and is a “very respected mountaineer and climber.”

Berry said the terrain is “very technical,” centred around the five mountain peaks that each reach over 1,800 metres high. Philippsen’s car was found parked at where he began his multi-day hike. Philippsen’s whereabouts remains an open case with the RCMP. Searchers encourage anyone in the area to keep an eye out for signs of the missing man.