A B.C. family is celebrating after a Kelowna man was discovered alive in a snowbank on Thursday afternoon, more than 48 hours after his vehicle was found abandoned with the keys on the seat near Clearwater, north of Kamloops.
“We are very lucky!” Carlos Sigurnjak’s sister, Tiffany, posted on Facebook on Thursday afternoon. “We are so grateful for the support and to have found him in time!”
Sigurnjak was found at a higher elevation by a passerby who recognized him from social media posts, said police.
He was transported to hospital for treatment, according to Clearwater RCMP, after spending the night on a nearby mountain.
“He was cold and wet and barefoot. He needed a bit of medical attention,” Sgt. Grant Simpson with Clearwater RCMP told Global News.
“It’s the best we could have hoped for,” said Simpson.
The family of the Kelowna man had made numerous appeals on social media after they said police found his car abandoned off near Highway 5 near Clearwater on Tuesday.
With a population of approximately 2,000 people, Clearwater is around 120 km north of Kamloops, and three hours north of Kelowna.
RCMP and searchers had begun searching for Sigurnjak on Wednesday and resumed their search on Thursday, according to Simpson.
The keys and wallet were still in the vehicle, according to police, who originally thought the car was abandoned because it had ran out of gas, which it hadn’t.
“He said he wanted to go camping,” Simpson said of Sigurnjak’s explanation for walking away from his car and up into the mountains.
“There won’t be any more investigation from our perspective,” Simpson said. “They just want him to get the medical attention he needs.”