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More than 800 volunteers turn out to hunt for missing Squamish teen

Click to play video: 'Hundreds join search for missing teen in Squamish' Hundreds join search for missing teen in Squamish
Hundreds of community members and volunteers joined the official search for a missing 15-year-old in Squamish Friday. Emad Agahi has more on the outpouring of support in the desperate effort to find Richie Stelmack – Sep 24, 2021

An estimated 800 volunteers turned out in Squamish on Friday to help search for missing teen Richie Stelmack.

The 15-year-old was last seen going to bed Tuesday night, around 10 p.m., at his family home in the 40000 block of The Crescent in the Garibaldi Highlands.

“This is definitely unique for us. Most of our searches happen in the mountains, in rugged terrain, so we don’t have an opportunity to bring in convergent volunteers like this,” Squamish Search and Rescue manager Mike Teske said.

“Truly, the public support was amazing to feel.”

Click to play video: '15-year-old reported missing in Squamish' 15-year-old reported missing in Squamish
15-year-old reported missing in Squamish – Sep 23, 2021

Volunteers paired up with experienced search-and-rescue team members and went door-to-door, checking back yards, wood sheds, boats, cars and school property for the missing teen.

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Teske said the major challenge crews are dealing with is that they don’t know what direction Richie might have gone.

“We have a lot of negative clues, so we have a lot of places we know he didn’t go. But we have no positive clues, so we’re still looking for video footage from anyone who has a camera on their door, a camera on their business,” he said.

Click to play video: 'Search for missing 15-year-old Squamish boy continues' Search for missing 15-year-old Squamish boy continues
Search for missing 15-year-old Squamish boy continues – Sep 23, 2021

“We have identified a number of areas that we need to do some more technical searching in, so we’re bringing in specialty teams to go search those areas.”

Read more: 15-year-old boy missing in Squamish after he was last seen going to bed

Those potential search areas include canyon and river areas, he said.

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Stelmack is five-foot-five and weighs 100 pounds. He has brown hair and brown eyes and was last seen wearing brown plaid pyjama pants and a red, long-sleeved shirt.

Search-and-rescue crews are asking people to continue keeping an eye on their properties for any sign of the boy, and to review any video footage they have that could contain a clue as to his direction of travel.

Teske also had a message for Richie from his family.

“We just ask him to come home. His family wants him to come home. He’s not in trouble. We would all be very, very happy to see him.”

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