The community of Sooke on southern Vancouver Island is grieving after the discovery of two bodies believed to be two of three men missing since Friday night.
The families of Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20 years old, gathered at the RCMP station on Sunday afternoon following the discovery of the bodies, whose identities are unclear.
“Way too young, absolutely heartbreaking,” said resident Cory Payne.
The three men were last seen at a home in Sooke on Friday night around 11 p.m. They were travelling in a 2004 blue Dodge Dakota, but it was unclear where they were going.
Their disappearance triggered a community-wide search, with dozens, if not hundreds, of residents joining police officers to scour neighbourhoods, popular hiking spots, and back roads. Some volunteers drove as far as Port Renfrew and Cowichan Lake.
On Sunday afternoon, a team in a helicopter spotted the trio’s blue truck near Sooke River Road.
The bodies of two of the men were recovered, said RCMP, while the search for the third continues with the help of Juan de Fuca Search and Rescue.
The B.C. coroner’s service is also investigating to determine how, when and by what means the men came to their deaths, police said.
“How sad it is for those families tonight,” said Susan Keith, who lives in the area. “How I wish it could have been a better outcome. I can see the river through the trees and it’s so high.”
– with files from The Canadian Press
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