Tjeerd ‘Ted’ Vanderveen, who suffers from dementia, has been missing since Nov. 28. (Contributed)

Strong turnout of volunteers to search for missing senior

Ted Vanderveen disappeared in rural Maple Ridge on Nov. 28

More than 60 people showed up Saturday morning at Wildwood Church in Whonnock for a final search for missing Maple Ridge senior Tjeerd ‘Ted’ Vanderveen.

“The amount of community support has been overwhelming,” said Megan Oliver, who started the Facebook page Uncle Ted Search Info Group.

The number of people helping Saturday almost tripled from last week’s organized search, indicating how the word of Vanderveen’s disappearance has taken a long time to spread, she said.

The 72-year-old, who suffers from dementia, went missing on Nov. 28 after he went for a walk in the Ferguson Trails area, near his house in the 26500 block of 112th Avenue. The search by emergency responders lasted two days and involved area search teams, a helicopter and a police dog. Police are now treating it as a missing persons case, and the search has continued by family, friends and volunteers.

Some of the missing man’s family attended the meeting Saturday and thanked volunteers for their help and support. They reiterated how grateful they were for how quickly police and Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue came after Vanderveen disappeared.

They shared that after Saturday’s search, they will be pulling back, and would appreciate some privacy and time to rest.

Ryan McEachern said Friday was the first day that he did not meet people on the trails who were unaware Vanderveen went missing. He has compiled information from family, SAR and other searchers onto a master map.

“There is a lot to be learned from this tragic experience” said Oliver. “To still be meeting people in our community that do not know of his disappearance a week ago, signals a need to review how information is transmitted, who it reaches and how quickly it can be sent.”

She suggested local schools and community organizations could be notified to spread the word. She is encouraging the public to lobby mayor and council for a review of methods of communication and what improvements can be made, and also ask how the province can help find missing seniors. School board trustee Pascale Shaw, a Whonnock resident, has called for a silver alert notification system for missing seniors and adults.

Yellow ribbons were handed out to searchers walking near homes. Home owners are being asked to put up the ribbon on the front of their gates or fence, to indicate that they have checked their property thoroughly. Anyone who is unable to physically check their property is welcome to contact the Facebook group and ask for help.


 

@MapleRidgeNews
newsroom@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Volunteers continue the search for Missing Maple Ridge senior on Saturday. (Contributed)

Just Posted

Langley East Liberal candidate denies NDP accusation of homophobia over crosswalk vote

Margaret Kunst said she has worked with LGBTQ youth with her PuCKS charity

Langley surveys its residents about building sustainable community

Township encourages people to have their say about climate action before Oct. 16

LETTER: Langley neighbourhood re-established as quarter-mile racetrack

Writer queries what the municipality want residents to do about the growing problem of speeders?

B.C.’s top doctor encourages Halloween costumes to include masks

Dr. Bonnie Henry will soon be releasing guidelines on how to safely trick-or-treat this Halloween

Racist, homophobic graffiti prominent in downtown Maple Ridge

City councillors up late removing hateful message

Reincarnation, baby! Music-making B.C. couple celebrate ‘miracle’ pregnancy

‘I (said) to Adam, ‘I really think this is your brother reincarnated,’ Elise Estrada says

Survey finds doctors worry supplies of flu vaccine, PPE will lag demand

Canadian health officials have said additional flu vaccines have been ordered to meet expected demand

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Search suspended for Indigenous elder last seen mushroom picking in northwest B.C.

Mushroom picker Thomas (Tommy) Dennis has been missing since Sept. 16

Ahead of likely second wave, 60% of Canadians relaxing COVID-19 measures

Proportion of Canadians following safety measures has dropped by 3 per cent in the past two weeks

Canada’s population tops 38 million, even as COVID-19 pandemic slows growth

Immigration, the top population driver, decreased due to the pandemic

Most Read