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

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

33-storey highrise proposal coming to Surrey council, first of three phases

Second and third phases include 36-storey and 31-storey towers

Surrey city council moving to virtual meetings

For public hearings, people can register to speak via telephone

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

COVID-19: Daily update on the pandemic in Surrey, White Rock, Delta and beyond

APRIL 4: Two people in Delta fined for trying to re-sell N95 masks

Education, not enforcement: B.C. bylaw officers keeping a watch on physical distancing

A kind word, it turns out, has usually been all people need to hear

Emergency aid portal opens Monday, cash could be in bank accounts by end of week: Trudeau

Emergency benefit will provide $2,000 a month for those who have lost their income due to COVID-19

QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Take this test and find out how well you know Canada’s most popular winter sport

Researchers look at humidity as a weapon in the fight against airborne viruses

Regular hand washing, physical distancing and PPE for health care workers remains best line of defense

Exercises move online with YMCA’s new nationwide virtual workout program

YThrive Home offers dozens of free workout videos for people during COVID-19 self-isolation period

Two inmates found positive for COVID-19 at Mission Institution; two other tests pending

15 staff self-isolating waiting results, says correctional officer

B.C. community service provider hosts friendly art competition for youth

Theme for Pacific Community Resources contest is ‘finding the silver lining in difficult times’

Critic, workers’ group ‘disappointed’ Trudeau chose Amazon to distribute PPE

Amazon Canada said in an email to The Canadian Press that it is working with Canada Post, Purolator

Most Read