Search crews are looking for 67-year old Wayne Morrison, who went missing last night while mushroom picking in the Kispiox Valley.
Search and Rescue crews, along with RCMP air support and police dog services, were called to assist and are currently searching near Helen Lake Road. The Gitaanmax man is described as 5’11 tall, 260 pounds with brown eyes and black hair.
Shawna Morrison, Wayne’s niece, says he went out with his son-in-law yesterday morning and was expected back around 5 p.m. The two had gotten separated from each other in the dense brush at dusk, but the son-in-law could not find him after searching and called New Hazelton RCMP.
“With that little bit of weather change it’s been getting dark a bit earlier, and the minute it gets dark you get turned around really easily,” Morrison says.
She says Wayne is an experienced mushroom picker and hunter, and knows the area well, but was not prepared to stay overnight. “It’s so easy to get lost — every mushroom picker will tell you they know the backlands, they know the bush, but this can happen to even the best ones.”
Around 25 volunteers went out to look for Wayne around 7 p.m., but found no sign of him. This morning, volunteers, SAR, and RCMP set out to survey the area with a helicopter.
“One of the great things about living in the North is the community. We’ve had such a great community response,” Shawna says.
People have donated food, drinks, and supplies for search volunteers, she says. Drivers coming up the road will turn off their engines to try and hear Wayne in case he calls out, honking periodically to see if he’s within hearing range.
“Everyone is really experienced, I’ve had a great response from the community. It’s been overwhelming.”
If you see Wayne, or know where he may be you are asked to call the New Hazelton RCMP at 250 842-5244.