While RCMP may no longer be involved in the search for Jonathan Knight, Tina Spence is determined to find answers about what happened to her boyfriend.
“I can’t give up just because they are giving up,” said Spence, the girlfriend of the man who went missing on May 7.
“I just want to know that he’s safe.”
RCMP suspended their search on May 20, believing Knight “may have chosen to live in the wilderness and may not wish to be located”.
“If somebody is out in the wilderness and something happens to them, they’ll make clear they want to be found,” said Cpl. Dave Tyreman.
“They’ll come to the edge of the river, light a fire or leave arrows with logs, but we’re not finding these signs,” said Cpl. Dave Tyreman, adding that indicators show Knight may have wanted to live in the wilderness.
Spence, however, does not believe Knight is simply living in the bush.
“You don’t leave a two year relationship, desperate for something, to go into the bush. When he told me he loved me that day, it wasn’t a goodbye,” Spence said.
“I don’t believe he was experienced enough or knew what he was getting into. I don’t believe he has landed on the other side.”
Cpl. Tyreman said they have no indication the boat flipped as it was found upright with a paddle, pump and carrying bag inside. But Spence isn’t so sure.
“No one goes into the bush and loses his only means of return. They don’t even think they’re looking for a body. They just assume that he went in somewhere,” she said, adding the boat was found with only one paddle and no personal items inside.
“I’m emailing everybody I know, every fishing village from here to Vancouver trying to get his picture out… anybody fishing on the North Coast or mid-coast, please keep an eye out for him.”
Although not certain Knight made it across the Skeena, Spence is holding out hope he is still alive somewhere.
“If he got hurt trying to get in the boat and got out on this side, he could be anywhere,” she said.
Police are considering the trail cold and Tyreman said it comes down to one of two things.
“Either somebody is looking for help or they may not want to be found,” he said, asking anyone on the river, the surrounding trails and the community to notify police if Knight is spotted.
“We’ve put extensive resources into it but right now we have no further place to go. It’s like hitting a dead end street.
“We’ve suspended the search, but should we receive further information or a sighting … then we’ll be back into it.”
Spence and Knight’s family and friends are seeking information and help. She asks coastal fishers and those on the river to keep an eye out. They also ask that anybody with cabins in that area check for signs that someone has used their cabin, including something left behind like a shirt or a hat.
Spence asks that anyone who finds anything related to Knight call her at 250-600-6170.