The search group comprised of friends and family of missing Terrace man David Kim said they are thankful for offers of assistance but at this time the small party is currently at the ideal capacity.
“We’re not out there doing full-on searches with 40 or 50 people, but a small group of friends and family that have good skills and experience to offer,” said Jayson Kurtz, the volunteer search coordinator. “We’re calling on people as needed.”
The volunteer group will continue their search over the weekend then revisit their strategies early next week.
Currently their mission is to fill the small search gaps left unchecked by RCMP and Search and Rescue. “We’re trying to eliminate search areas that have slim chances, but just want to make sure that he’s not there.”
Fellow volunteer search member Sarah Zimmerman said the group’s efforts are intended only to compliment official search strategies of the RCMP. She and Kurtz ask anyone contemplating a search of their own to reconsider.
Members of the group related to Kim are in daily contact with the RCMP, and they worry additional traffic on the Skeena will not only put more individuals at risk, but may interfere with the police-led searches.
David Sung Duk Kim was last seen leaving Shames Mountain parking lot at approximately 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 7. The 45-year-old’s light blue 2007 Toyota Yaris was found parked, and locked, near Khyex River off Highway 16 the next day.
Since then the Prince Rupert RCMP has been working with the official Search and Rescue outfits from Terrace and Prince Rupert.
The volunteer search group formed quickly and organically as the gravity of Kim’s disappearance quickly became apparent, and friends began asking the family what they could do to help. But as the search nears the end of its first week there are still no clues or known theories as to what happened.
“It’s really tough but there’s a sense of camaraderie and empathy as his close friends and family get together and help one another,” Kurtz said.
Zimmerman thanked the RCMP and Search and Rescue teams for their commitment, and passed along the appreciation of Kim’s family.
“David’s family is so grateful for the outpouring of love and support from everyone,” she said. “They can’t express enough how much that means to them.”
– with files from Shannon Lough