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

Greedy family’s maid overcomes them all in Surrey Little Theatre’s latest play

‘The Late Christopher Bean’ is staged at Clayton-area theatre for a month starting Jan. 23

Fire truck, police car hit in chain of crashes on Hwy. 99 in South Surrey

‘People weren’t paying attention,’ says Surrey assistant fire chief

Two-vehicle crash leads to argument in South Surrey

Police investigating after one driver left the scene

Final Four set at Surrey RCMP Classic, where a new champ will be crowned

Guildford Park beats Semiahmoo, ending Totems’ three-year championship run

City of Surrey spends $1.2M on winter maintenance – so far

Total budget of $3.7M; 7,000 tonnes of salt used

Kids across Canada more at risk of hospitalization from flu this season: doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam said influenza B does not usually peak until February or later

VIDEO: Newbie Vancouver Giants leads victory over Victoria 4-1 Friday

The G-Men play Saturday in Victoria before hosting Kamloops on home ice in Langley Sunday afternoon

Closed mills, housing surge support a positive forecast for lumber industries

B.C. lumber producers have closed mills accounting for 18% of province’s capacity, RBC report says

Good Samaritan pays part of rent for B.C. woman facing eviction in can-collecting dispute

Zora Hlevnjak, 76, supplements her pension by collecting cans and receiving public donations

Should winter tires be mandatory in the Lower Mainland?

ICBC dial-a-claims go up as winter storm takes toll

Canada Post driver in hospital after ice smashes windshield at Massey Tunnel

Incident happened on Richmond side of the Massey Tunnel

Abbotsford bank ATM robbery thwarted by woman standing her ground

Police arrest alleged known robber running down South Fraser wearing balaclava

Kelowna’s ‘Baby Mary’ finds biological parents after more than 30 years

Geneologist and DNA test helped her connect with her biological parents

Kelowna hotel to award couples for baby-making with Nooner deal

The deal includes a free stay every Valentine’s Day for the next 18 years

Most Read