View Royal firefighters Buchanan Elliott and Gerry Cadwallader search the shoreline of Upper Thetis Lake Tuesday morning for a missing 67-year-old woman.

Update: No sign of missing woman at Thetis Lake; search called off

Thetis Lake park is closed today as a search is underway for a 67-year-old woman reported missing in the park.



The search for a Saanich woman thought to be lost overnight in Thetis Lake park has been called off after crews found no trace of the 67-year-old.

As of early Tuesday afternoon, one remaining Metchosin Search and Rescue volunteer team was hiking the remote McKenzie Creek trail and lake area, but emergency responders have dismantled the command centre and the park has reopened.

“There’s been nothing at all,” said Linda Hillard of Metchosin Search and Rescue. “It’s very discouraging. We’ve got no clues, no signs to her preference for a particular area. It makes searching very difficult.”

Maria Huyben parked at Thetis Lake sometime Monday morning and her car was slapped with a violation ticket at 11:31 a.m. Family members told police she was “distraught” and search and rescue teams were called in just after 6 p.m. last night. A purse was visible in the front seat of Huyben’s car.

Metchosin SAR and Capital Regional District parks teams hit the main trails around upper and lower Thetis lakes until 3 a.m. last night, calling her name and blowing whistles.

View Royal Fire Rescue, Langford Fire Rescue, West Shore RCMP, Saanich Search and Rescue and a Victoria police canine unit also supported the search effort.

Emergency crews found a few hours to grab a nap in cots in the parking lot and the search resumed at first light Tuesday morning.

Crews on land and in boats scoured the shorelines of upper and lower Thetis Lake, Prior Lake and Highland Road, and retraced main trails and hiked dozens of obscure unmarked trails. Search teams used GPS tracking to map out covered areas, mainly the southern reaches of the vast, 833 hectare park.

Huyben frequently walks and hikes the marked trails around Thetis Lake and is known to be a fit person. The weather was mild last night and the forest extremely dry, giving Huyben an excellent chance of surviving alone in the elements, if she was in the park.

Finding no sign of Huyben is distressing for her family and for search crews, Hillard said.

“I’ve been at this a long time and it’s never easy,” she said. “It’s hard on the whole team. They take this stuff very personally.”

An extensive search over 18 hours involving dozens of volunteers yielded no clues either way as to the fate of Huyben, and the operation wrapped up around noon. RCMP released Huyben’s car to her relatives.

West Shore RCMP say the case has been handed to Saanich police as a missing person file.

“It is very unfortunate, we really feel for the family,” said CRD parks manager Janette Loveys. “We had hoped for some news.”

Anyone with information concerning this missing person can contact the West Shore RCMP detachment at 250-474-2264 or Crimestoppers at 250-386-TIPS (8477).

Just Posted

Single dad reaches out to Greater Victoria community to help kids celebrate Christmas

A young family was overwhelmed with the warm response from strangers

Aid a priority for idled Vancouver Island loggers, John Horgan says

Steelworkers, Western Forest Products returning to mediation

Thief targets staff rooms at Victoria businesses

Surveillance shows man entering staff room where several items were reported stolen

Workers at auto dealerships in Nanaimo and Victoria set up picket lines

Sixty GAIN Group detailers, technicians, service advisors went on strike Friday

VIDEO: More air-passenger rights go into effect this weekend

The first set of passenger rights arrived in mid-July in Canada

Navigating ‘fever phobia’: B.C. doctor gives tips on when a sick kid should get to the ER

Any temperature above 38 C is considered a fever, but not all cases warrant a trip to the hospital

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Dec. 10

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you have a real or artificial Christmas tree?

The lights are up, holiday shoppers are bustling through the streets and… Continue reading

Swoop airlines adds three destinations in 2020 – Victoria, Kamloops, San Diego

Low-fair subsidiary of WestJet Airlines brings new destinations in April 2020

UPDATED: Investigators confirm three died in B.C. plane crash

Transport Canada provides information bulletin, family of victim releases statement

Prime Minister sets 2025 timeline for plan to remove fish farms from B.C. waters

Foes heartened by plan to transition aquaculture found in Fisheries minister mandate letter

Federal justice minister looks to larger reforms on doctor-assisted death

The Quebec Superior Court gave Ottawa just six months — until March 2020 — to amend the law

Wagon wheels can now be any size! B.C. community scraps 52 obsolete bylaws

They include an old bylaw regulating public morals

Most Read