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

‘It’s frightening’: Hemlock Valley trucker on being on the road during COVID-19

Armed with a keychain-sized hand sanitizer, trucker Brennan Bateman set out for the United States

SD78, meet your new superintendent

Balan Moorthy takes over from Karen Nelson August 1

COLUMN: The other graph that shows B.C. can beat COVID-19

Is the curve being flattened? data on hospitalizations provides a crucial answer.

UPDATE: Missing Chilliwack teen found, safe and sound

RCMP ‘pleased to confirm’ teen has been located

Health officials are restricting visitor access to facilities in Chilliwack and Hope

Access rules for CGH and RCH, long-term care homes, and assisted living facilities have changed

VIDEO: How doctors in Canada will decide who lives and dies if pandemic worsens

Officials in several provinces have been developing guides so that doctors don’t feel alone

Two people fined after B.C. police spot online ads re-selling 5,000 surgical, N95 masks

Police confiscated the masks, being sold at inflated prices, and now working with Fraser Health

Sex workers face new risks during COVID-19 pandemic

‘Desperation has kicked in’ for vulnerable, undocumented workers unable to access help

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

COVID-19: Postponed surgeries will be done, B.C. health minister says

Contract with private surgical clinic to help clear backlog

Black Press Media ad sparks discussion about value of community newspapers

White Rock resident hopes front-page note shines light on revenue loss during COVID-19 crisis

Vancouver man, 21, charged after mother found dead in Squamish home

Ryan Grantham, 21, has been charged with second-degree murder

Most Read