Police in B.C. and Alberta are investigating the mysterious disappearance of a Calgary man whose truck was found burned out in the backcountry north of Pemberton, B.C.
Calgary police say Marshal Iwaasa, 26, was last seen by family in Lethbridge on Nov. 17 and told them he was returning to Calgary. He has not been seen since.
Iwaasa’s pickup truck was found Saturday by a group of hikers who had set out to visit the remote Brian Waddington Hut north of Pemberton, B.C.
“At the trail head, we came across a pickup truck that had been completely torched, but it looked like it had been torched, you know, extremely aggressively,” James Starke said.
“I mean, the glass was melted when the wheels had been blown off, like it was completely destroyed.”
Starke and his hiking companions found two passports scattered around the scene. One was Iwaasa’s expired passport. The other had the pages with identifying information torn out.
The group also found three smashed cellphones, a smashed laptop, PlayStation and XBox, as well as clothing and toiletries.
“Obviously, we were thinking about the Canadian manhunt that occurred in the summer,” said Starke.
He went on to say the scene looked as if someone was trying to dispose of evidence.
“But then again, it didn’t really make a lot of sense because you think, OK, if you’re trying to get rid of evidence, why wouldn’t you just burn it all in the truck rather than cast it all around the area?”
Unsettled, the group drove back into an area with cellphone service and called Pemberton RCMP, who attended the scene.
Calgary police say Iwaasa’s family has been notified about the discovery of the vehicle, which led to the man being declared missing.
S/Sgt. Paul Hayes with the Whistler RCMP said Search and Rescue teams are combing the backcountry near where the vehicle was found, but haven’t found any sign of Iwaasa.
“We haven’t ruled anything out at this point because we just don’t know,” said Hayes.
“There’s nothing at this point that we found that leads us to think that that anything suspicious has occurred, although it’s a very odd thing for us to find.”
Iwaasa’s sister, Paige Fogen, said family members are very worried.
“We’re from Alberta and most of our family is in Lethbridge and Calgary. We don’t have a lot of ties to B.C. and I don’t know any ties that Marshal has to B.C.,” Fogen said from Honolulu on Thursday.
“With the truck being found, and him not having access to his truck or his items… that’s very concerning, and we’re really worried about him.”
Fogen said her brother is an active person who likes hiking and the outdoors.
“I could see if he’s out somewhere, though. He’s more quiet, so he would be keeping to himself, kind of doing his own thing,” she said.
“I think for us it’s really important that if people are seeing things, and are seeing him or think they have ideas or information about his whereabouts, if they could go through the police.We’re really trying to push everything through the police so that they can get the most up to date information and they can investigate it.”
Iwaasa is described as five-foot-11 and 170 pounds, with brown eyes, shoulder-length brown hair which is normally tied back, and a moustache.
He was last seen wearing a green hoodie, a grey toque, red hi-top shoes and black pants.
His truck is described as a dark blue 2009 GMC Sierra with Alberta licence plate BLL 1099.
Anyone with information about Iwaasa’s whereabouts or who saw him or his truck in the days after his disappearance is asked to call Pemberton RCMP at 604-894-6634, or the Calgary Police Service at 403-266-1234.