Jeffery Phan, 24, Michelle Lesaca, 24, and two children, three-year-old Satana Phan and two-year-old Satan Phan went missing after their abandoned vehicle was found along the highway in the Dease Lake area. (Contributed photo)

Missing Oregon family found after possibly getting lost on purpose

Officials say family of four was found near Dease Lake after their vehicle was apparently abandoned

A family of four from Oregon was found safe Wednesday after officials say they may have gotten lost on purpose in northern B.C.

The search for Jeffery Phan, 24, Michelle Lesaca, 24, and two children, Satana, 3, and Satan, 2, began early Wednesday morning after their vehicle, a black 2018 Toyota Yaris, was found two days earlier near Highway 37 near Dease Lake.

A sign had been left on the car, saying the driver had left to find fuel.

A large search of the area was launched along the route the family was believed to have taken after they entered Canada June 9 at the Rooseville crossing near Fernie.

The four were spotted by a PEP Air air unit in the backcountry on Wednesday afternoon.

“They are safe and in care of police to make sure they’re good and healthy, which they are,” said Terrace Search and Rescue vice president Dave Jephson. “It’s an excellent outcome. I did not expect this outcome at all, to have four alive individuals. We’re very happy.”

In a strange turn, Jephson said the SAR team’s experience with the family indicates they had intentionally gone into the wilderness and did not want to be found.

“Who knows why?” Jephson said. “I think they were out there intentionally to … have no idea.”

RCMP learned the family had planned to travel to the Philippines on May 25, but later cancelled their flight at the airport in Portland, Ore., just prior to boarding.

Police do not yet know the family’s citizenship status, nor why they crossed into Canada.

Search and rescue teams from Smithers and Stewart also contributed to finding the family.


 


brittany@terracestandard.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Just Posted

Cloverdale Toastmasters celebrate 25 years of learning and laughter

Cloverdale club is a high achieving, yet laid-back Toastmasters group

Surrey RCMP searching for missing 15-year-old Aboriginal girl

Police say Megan Hindmarch was last seen in the 12400-block of 97B Street at 8 p.m. on June 18

McCallum’s canal pitch took Surrey councillors by surprise

City government has more important issues pressing than building a canal, councillors say

Crime Stoppers urges Lower Mainland residents to check these 9 safety items every night

Home security tips demonstrated at Cloverdale house on Wednesday

Surrey RCMP conducting drug-related search warrant

Traffic closed in both directions on 128th Street, between 64th and 66th Avenue

VIDEO: ‘Avengers: Endgame’ to be re-released with new footage

‘Avatar’ holds global box office record at $2.788 billion, while ‘Endgame’ stands at $2.743 billion…

Victoria double murder trial: Blood splatter analyst found no shoe prints on scene

RCMP analyst testifies to smears, fingermarks, ‘swipe and wipe’ patterns around apartment

B.C. teen killed by falling tree near Victoria

Second youth also injured in freak incident during field trip at Camp Barnard near Sooke

Elias Pettersson wins Calder Trophy as NHL’s top rookie

Vancouver forward first Canuck to win award since Pavel Bure in 1992

FVRD chair calls B.C. incineration plan for Philippines waste ‘disturbing’

Metro Vancouver ‘uniquely capable’ of safely disposing of waste coming back to Canada, say officials

VIDEO: Acknowledging skeptics, finance minister vows to build Trans Mountain project

Bill Morneau said he recognizes ‘huge amount of anxiety’ in Calgary over future of oil and gas sector

Channel your inner pirate in epic Canada-wide treasure hunt

200 treasure chests hidden among trails and waterways, lots of prizes to be claimed

Shovels could be in the ground on Trans Mountain by September, CEO says

Ian Anderson points to weeks likely required for NEB to reinstate 2016 regulatory record

Scorpion gives birth after hitching ride in B.C. woman’s luggage

A Vancouver woman inadvertently brought the animal home from a trip to Cuba

Most Read