Update March 6th

We are sad to let you all know that yesterday our beautiful Miles’ body was found. Thank you so much for all of your love. We are devastated but also at peace knowing that he is not lost anymore. I will write more when I can, thank you so much for all of your help and all of your support. This community is incredible!

March 4th Update

Our search continues and it is difficult to start this post I can’t believe that this is still happening. We miss Miles so much and a month is just too long! We are utilizing all of the resources that we can find to search for Miles. My last post was about grid searches but there were a few more things to update you about.

We have the CASDDA dog team from Edmonton returning this Friday and leaving Monday. We are so lucky that these amazing people train and volunteer to do these searches with their own dogs. They are real super heroes!

It can be very helpful for the teams to have someone local with them as they search. I will be contacting some locals who volunteered last time to hopefully go out with the teams again. They are coming with 6 dogs and 12 people for two full days, last time it was 4 people and 4 dogs for one full day. We are hopeful that with this large team and the extra time we will find Miles this weekend!

The SARDAV team from Victoria has not confirmed an exact date but are planning on arriving a few days after CASDDA leave with a team of 15 people. I learned so much and felt so relieved to be helped by these caring skilled people.

We had a small air craft and a drone flying the Island doing a grid over area’s of interest. They work with an organization called Wings of Mercy this is from their website:

“Wings of Mercy is a continually growing volunteer group which uses cutting-edge drone technology to help rural and remote communities locate men, women and children who have gone missing. The group enlists the assistance of drone operators from across North America (and stretches worldwide) to work with families as well as law enforcement and search and rescue teams. As quickly as possible we provide aerial images from dense and challenging areas where it is too risky for humans to tread. We have a Forensic Anthropologist on board, fixed wing pilots, skilled and well versed 4×4’s, ATV’s and off road operator’s as well as Cadaver Dogs all volunteering their services. We WELCOME any and all that want to come on board.
Wings of Mercy provides training for drone operators and free analysis of drone images using “in house developed state-of-the art software”. Most importantly, we support families after formal search and rescue operations have been exhausted, continuing to provide them support and hope in their search for loved ones.”

They have thousands of these high resolution images now and are continuing to use the technology to try and find any sign of Miles by adjusting the search parameters.

We are extremely grateful to all of these incredible organizations that spend countless hours helping families like ours find their loved ones. After all unforeseen expenses a large portion of the go fund me money will be going as donations to these organizations which run completely not for profit, by volunteers who fly around the world finding lost people.

Finally to the Cortes community, thank you thank you thank you we can’t say it enough. Everyone has come together so kindly to help us through this dark time. Many people have pushed to their limits and even beyond to help us search for Miles. Anyone who still wants to search please do so and if you can let us know where you have been it helps with our plans for the dog teams. If you helped with the dog teams before, would like to volunteer to help this time or if you want to tell us where you have searched please email us at findmilesmeester@gmail.com

March 1st Update

Hello everyone I am finally getting chance to update you all on our search for Miles. I have been out in the bush very extensively for the past 3 days without reception which has been a strain on communications. I wanted to express my deep gratitude for all of the people that have been helping in every way and for the searchers, some of whom have been coming from off Island and otherwise going through great effort to be here and search with us. Thank you!

During the grid search on Thursday February 27th we found another item of Miles clothing near where his last items of clothing were found. I recognized this item of clothing as belonging to Miles right away. This finding reinvigorated my search efforts to say the least. I have been returning to the site with everyone and everything I have to pick through every bit of ground and find another clue.

We had a huge turn out on the 27th with 15 searchers! The search was through very difficult terrain so we were not able to stick to our original plan and had to take a trail back, the whole thing took about 4 hours. Thank you so much to all of the volunteers who came out. It can be difficult to figure out how long each hike is going to take and this one was through particularly rough ground but because the area is our highest level of interest it could not be overlooked.

On the morning of February 28th I returned to the site of our most recent clothing discovery with a smaller group of searchers so it would be easier to communicate changing directions. We went over the site from 3 directions working around it very meticulously and didn’t find any other evidence that Miles had been there.

We had already been in communication with a dog team based out of Victoria called SARDAV they sent two people from their team with one dog to create a detailed plan for returning to the Island with the rest of their team of 15 people. They arrived at 2pm on The 28th, although they were not coming to get out into the field right away I explained the situation and they agreed after checking out a few maps to head out there with me before dark. Working with dogs can be slow and methodical and the dog they had with them worked this way. We were able to make it to the clothing site just before having to turn around and make it back before dark. the dog didn’t pick up anything significant but the plan is to return to the site when more dogs arrive.

SARDAV will be returning as well as the CASDDA Dog team from Edmonton who was already here last week. After speaking with them over their visit they have advised me that I could make the chance of their success much higher if I take the next few days until their arrival to prepare maps and a headquarters for them so they can hit the ground running and spend as much time out there with the dogs as possible. Dogs are our best chance of finding Miles so I am going to take their advice and put my effort into that. 

The shift in my energy means that I will not be able to run the grid searches this week. I will advise though that a huge help to our search effort would be if people could go along the shoreline in groups looking as far into the bush as possible and checking in any little cracks or caves etc that they come across. If someone else feels confident that they could run a grid search I would gratefully hand that over with the knowledge and supplies that I have put together over the last few weeks. 

The most important thing is to stay safe out there and not lose anybody else so please stick together. If you are interested in searching shorelines in a group or searching in an inland area I can point out to you please fill out the form below and I can co-ordinate the time and place and meet you there to orient you. The area that I was thinking of searching today is the trail up from Mansons lagoon to the school in between the edge of ridge and the trail which is not too bad of terrain and has pretty obvious borders. Let me know if you are still interested in doing this today or tomorrow and I can set you all up. https://form.jotform.com/findmilesmeester/Searchformilesform

If you decide to go out in your own group, even if it’s on a trail, please let me know so I can mark it on my map.

Thank you so much everyone I think the grid searches are a really important part of this puzzle so if we need to I will be picking up with them again after these dog teams leave which I pray is not the case. We know grid searches do work it is how we found this last article of clothing and there are things out there can be easily missed by sticking to trails.

Gratefully,

Jade Jordan

February 26th Update

The search for Miles continues…

It has been 19 days since our sweet Miles disappeared wearing inadequate clothing in a confused and agitated mental state. With heavy hearts we are still searching, holding onto the chance that he is alive out there. This little Island has never felt so big.

SEARCH UPDATE

We had a drone team from Strategic Natural Resource Consultants searching with infrared technology on February 20th an 21st. West Coast Marine was here for February 21st to the 23rd searching the coastline up and down from Cortes bay getting a visual of the shoreline but also using underwater cameras. We have also had two volunteer drone teams scouring that stretch of shoreline. We reached out to the Free Bird Project who put us in touch with the Wings of Mercy group who are helping us coordinate an air search. Which is most likely starting with a float plane later this week!

Geographically this Island is not a great place to be missing, it is very difficult to see into the canopy of trees from drones or helicopters. Getting on the ground with people and dog teams is our best chance of finding Miles. The CASDDA dog team from Edmonton will be returning on March 6 which is wonderful but it still a long time away for someone who is potentially out in the cold.

It seems that there aren’t enough hours in a day to keep everyone up to date in order to keep the search alive. To the best of my understanding I believe that Miles is lost on Cortes. I hope with all of my heart that he made it off the Island but all of the evidence that I have seen does not point in that direction. His phone has not been charged, his bank account has not been accessed, none of his online accounts have been accessed, he was not visible on the ferry footage. The sad fact is that I think he is still here somewhere.

GRID SEARCH INFO

I have been organizing grid searches, we can cover quite a bit of ground with each person forming a line we can sweep through areas and scratch them off the list of places Miles might be. The first day of the grid search February 23rd 11 people came 2 of which went on their own search and 9 of us made a grid line through the forest, covering 70 hectares in 3 hours very thoroughly. If we could find 10 or more people to come out 5 or 6 more times we could cover the ground that is still concerning to us. I tried setting up grid searches starting at 1pm each day but I don’t think I was reaching all of the people that might have been able to make it. I would love to get a sense of whether or not there are people willing and available to do these types of searches.

There will be a search tomorrow Thursday the 27th at 1pm starting at the bottom of Manzanita Rd. We are going to have people on the beach and on top of the cliffs over the beach. We will be moving slowly and staying near each other to try and see every bit of ground. It is quite high with lots of rocks so be aware that this is one of the more difficult spots. This weekend we are going to try to cover two larger areas on Saturday and Sunday that will be flatter and a bit easier to move through. There will be hot soup offered for volunteers after the hike I will announce the locations on Friday. Please let us know if you can make it by filling out this form. That way we can prepare a plan knowing roughly how many people can attend.

If you are planning on coming a few things to note are that we will be going through different types of terrain and over some bluffs. I will post about the difficulty of each hike so hopefully volunteers at different levels can come out if they feel called. Please bring proper footwear, warm clothes, water, a whistle and any extra whistles that you might have, high visibility clothing, a small first aid kit and a phone or digital camera. Please read our Search Guidelines before coming out (if you have not already).

OTHER SEARCH OPTIONS

If you are able to continue walking the trails and paths that are known to you please do so. Helping us by continuing to search your own properties and outbuildings as well as any vacant properties that you have permission to search is a great help to us!

Thank you so much to everyone who has helped it has been an unbelievable outpouring of support and we feel it!

Jade Jordan (Miles Auntie)

check this blog to find out exact time and location of the next grid search. Leave a message if you would like us to call back, or if you are letting us know a place that you have searched. You can also comment at the bottom of this post or email findmilesmeester@gmail.com

February 23 Update

We found a lonely bike, then found the owner. We have no other reports from the field today. Please the bottom of the page for the UPDATE.

GRID INFO

There is a volunteer grid search organized for tomorrow February 24th at 1pm

The search is going to be in a little bit of harder to get to area. We will be entering off of the Powerline Rd and skirting along the edge of the clearcut (see map below). We completed the area shown on the map on February 22nd with 9 searchers and it took us nearly 3 hours. This hike tomorrow should be similar with a few big bluffs in our path. So experienced hikers would be best. The road is very narrow with no parking so if we can all meet at the intersection where the road comes into Manzanita (google maps calls the trail Manzanita as well) we can drive in in a few cars instead of all driving in.

If you are planning on coming a few things to note are that we will be going through pretty ruff terrain and over some bluffs so if you are not comfortable moving through these types of landscapes this might not be the hike for you. I will post about the difficulty of the hike each day so just wait for a more open one. Please bring proper footwear, warm clothes, water, a whistle and any extra whistles that you might have, a small first aid kit and a phone or digital camera. Please read our Search Guidelines before coming out (if you have not already).

Thank you so much it has been great to get out there and search carefully in all of these places that have been on my mind and cross them off the list.

Thank you Cortes

You can call our new contact number (778) 348-3603 (Campbell River cell) and listen to the message or check this blog to find out exact time and location of the next grid search. Leave a message if you would like us to call back, or if you are letting us know a place that you have searched. You can also comment at the bottom of this post.

TRAILS SUGGESTIONS

We would love it if the trails around Hague Lake were checked. If you do go (there or somewhere else), please comment below on the route you took so we have a sense of what territory is being covered. Again, before setting out, please notify a friend and visit our Search Guidelines if you have not already. Thank you for your help!

UPDATE

The Edmonton based Canadian Search and Disaster Dogs Association is planning to return to Cortes with 4 dogs to help with the search from March 6-9th. We are super grateful and excited to see them again soon!

CASDDA was born from a dream, from the union of a vision and a passion…

In a world torn by natural disasters, by discrimination and misunderstandings, we must stand up and give a hand, a smile, we must bring a little hope, a little love, a little help, and show the world that we are one.

Dogs, the kindest creature God ever offered to humanity, were our passion. So they became our tools. With us and for us all, they train and work by day and by night, in the freezing cold and under the suffocating heat. They learn to recognize the human scent of those buried deep under rubble, under snow, they seek the one lost in the woods or fallen off a cliff. They travel across the world to offer their help whenever and wherever. No wind, no vibration of the earth, no language, no religion, no culture will stop them. They are there for you, reliable, loyal, whoever you are, wherever you are… “So you can live…”

~ from their website.

February 22 Update

GRID INFO

Tomorrow, Sunday, February 23rd at 1pm, we are meeting in the Hague Lake Sandy Beach parking, lot to search around the lagoon. Whoever can make it please bring warm clothing, proper footwear, water, a whistle (and any extra whistles you can lend us), small first aid kits, high vis if you have it, and a phone or camera. Please read our Search Guidelines before coming out (if you have not already).

It helps if everyone who comes is comfortable moving through the forest off of trails as we will be doing a grid through underbrush sometimes encountering bluffs, fallen trees and little streams.

We are planning to put out a location of our community grid search the day before the search each day and we are going to try and meet there at 1pm.

Check our blog or you can call our new contact number (778) 348-3603 (Campbell River local) and listen to the message to find out where we are focusing our search each day and the time and exact location of the group grid search. Leave a message if you would like us to call back or if you are letting us know a place that you have searched. You can also comment at the bottom of this post.

TRAILS SUGGESTIONS

Call 778-348-3603 for our trails and areas of focus if you would like to go for a hike in an area that could be helpful today. If you do go, please comment below on the route you took so we have a sense of what territory is being covered. Again, before setting out, please notify a friend and visit our Search Guidelines if you have not already.

UPDATE

We are still learning to Grid Search. Today at the grid search in Tiber Bay we learned a some of the Do’s and Don’ts and covered a lot of ground with 11 people. Thank you so much to everyone who showed up for the grid search today I think it went really well!

Thank you to everyone who is thinking of coming tomorrow your support means a lot to Jade and to Miles’ family.

On another note, this campfire was found on the bluff due south of the Old Hydro road junction with the second spur of hydro road to Mary’s Point. Anyone recognize it or know when it is from? Seems pretty dry. Please leave any comments at the end of the post.

It felt warm, which could be from the sun, but was definitely dry.
This is where the camp fire was located.
This is from the bluff looking out toward Mary’s Point.

February 21 Search & Update

We are still searching for Miles he has been missing since the evening of February 6th. We are sick with worry with the cold weather and the amount of days and nights that have passed. We are still hopeful that with Miles limited bush knowledge that he was able to find some place to stay out of the elements and that he is out there waiting for us to find him!

We had drones doing a grid search of the area where his last clothing was found on February 19th and 20th and today we continued with smaller drones that can fly under the tree canopy and see closer to the ground. We realize that we have a much higher chance of finding Miles on the ground with dog teams, we are in contact with them and waiting to find out when they will arrive. Everyday we have been scouring every inch of the forest waiting to find him around every corner.

We decided that the next phase of our searching will include grid searches. We have had many many community volunteers walking every trail on the island over and over and many many residents searching their properties and outbuildings on a daily basis. We are so appreciative of everyone that can continue in this effort. We spread a wide net over the Island and every person here has been so helpful and supportive. Many have been out practically every daylight hour using their knowledge of the landscape to tirelessly search every place they can think of.

Yet we still have not found him… talking with the RCMP yesterday they also confirmed that they have not seen Miles on the ferry footage leaving the Island. There has been some possible sightings of Miles off Island but when we followed up on them it was not Miles that had been seen. We believe that Miles is on Cortes, getting off the trails in a group effort may be one of our best chances of finding Miles or at least picking up the trail of his closest whereabouts.

We are planning to put out a location of our community grid search the day before the search each day and we are going to try and meet there at 1pm. Whoever can make it please bring warm clothing, proper footwear, water, a whistle (and any extra whistles you can lend us), small first aid kits, high vis if you have it and a phone or camera.

Tomorrow we are meeting at the first intersection of Mary Point Rd where the powerline road/trail meets it at 1pm I will attach a map. You can call our new contact number
(778) 348-3603 (Campbell River local) and listen to the message to find out where we are focusing our search that day and the time and exact location of the group grid search. Leave a message if you would like us to call back or if you are letting us know a place that you have searched.

This astounding community has held and supported us so gracefully through this trying, painful and stressful time we are in your debt and so thankful!

In thanks
Jade Jordan

Join the Search

Anyone can have a friend, but the one that would walk in a storm to find you is all you will ever need.

Shannon L. Alder

HOW TO HELP

We are INCREDIBLY grateful to everyone who is helping, and we humbly ask your forgiveness for repeated requests. The search for Miles continues and there are many ways to help on the ground. We are so very appreciative of the way the community has come together to help out and are hopeful Miles will soon be home.

Searches are happening daily.

Please read our Search Guidelines if you are new to the search.


GRID SEARCHES
Research shows that the most effective way of searching for a missing person is to do intensive grid searches over areas of interest. We can cover quite a bit of ground with each person forming a line we can sweep through areas and scratch them off the list of places Miles might be. If we could find 10 or more people to come out 5 or 6 more times we could cover the ground that is still concerning to us. We would love to get a sense of whether or not there are people willing and available to do these types of searches.

There will be hot soup offered for volunteers after the hike, we will announce the locations a few days before each search and will let anyone know who leaves their email where that will be. Please let us know if you can make it by filling out this form. That way we can prepare a plan knowing roughly how many people can attend.

If you are planning on coming a few things to note are that we will be going through different types of terrain and over some bluffs. I will post about the difficulty of each hike so hopefully volunteers at different levels can come out if they feel called. Please bring proper footwear, warm clothes, water, a whistle and any extra whistles that you might have, high visibility clothing, a small first aid kit and a phone or digital camera. Please read our Search Guidelines before coming out (if you have not already).

THE LATEST grid search meet up details can be found HERE or call (778) 348-3603 (Campbell River local) and listen to the message to find out where we are focusing our search that day, and the time and exact location of the group grid search.

Leave a message if you would like us to call back or if you are letting us know a place that you have searched. You can also leave a comment on the bottom each days search post.


ROUTES OF INTEREST
Going for a walk and wondering if there is a route that could help today’s search?

THE LATEST ROUTES of interest details can be found HERE or by calling
(778) 348-3603. Please familiarize yourself with our Search Guidelines.


Here are some other ways to help:

CHECK YOUR PROPERTY. We are asking the public to continue to check your property and outbuildings DAILY and account for your vehicles and boats. Please leave a message at 778-348-3603 or email findmilesmeester@gmail.com if you have not already let us know your property is being checked daily so we can check your property off our map.

If you need help checking your property, please be in touch and we will send someone out.

Not able to be boots on the ground? You can still help.  Donations to the search help us bring in more K9 search & rescue dogs & keep drones flying.

DONATE TO SUPPORT THE SEARCH

This astounding community has held and supported us so gracefully through this trying, painful and stressful time we are in your debt and so thankful!

In thanks,
Jade Jordan

MEAL TRAIN & DONATIONS

How to Help

The people who give you their food, give you their heart.

— Cesar Chavez.

Meal Train


As you can understand, the family has been working tirelessly to coordinate the search for Miles, hiking vast amounts of terrain, not sleeping much from worry and distress.  Desta has kindly coordinated Meal Trains for the family as well as meals for the off island experts who have come to the island to support the search. 

Bringing them food is SO very helpful.

The Meal Train for Miles Cortes Family

You can also join the CONTACT LIST for potential FUTURE MEALS

Donations

Desta has also kindly set up a GoFundMe page for Miles.  All funds are being used to support the search and will be used to support Miles and the family once he has been found.

HELP SUPPORT THE SEARCH

Thank you for coming to our site, for caring, for participating in whatever way feels best. We are continually humbled by the love on this island.

Search Guidelines

  • Please stay within your comfort zone
  • PLEASE TRAVEL IN GROUPS OF TWO OR MORE
  • Let someone know where you are going and when you expect to be back. Check-in with them upon your return
  • IF YOU SEE MILES CALL 911. Note his exact location, what condition he is in, what he is wearing, and any other details that might help. 
  • If you can, gently support him to come with you to a safe, warm place, if you are not comfortable with that, or he does not want to come, stay with him until help arrives.
  • IF YOU’RE OUT OF RANGE TO CALL, CONSIDER HAVING ONE PERSON STAY AT LAST SPOT & ONE PERSON LEAVE TO CALL. This is not ideal. When searching out of cell range, consider bringing 3-4 people so two can wait while the other two go to make a call.

WE ARE CONFIRMING WITH ANYONE WE MEET (Gently and respectfully):

  • (If you do not know them) HAVE THEY SEEN MILES?
  • HAVE THEY BEEN ABLE TO CHECK THEIR PROPERTY/OUR BUILDINGS/BOATS DAILY?
  • DO THEY NEED HELP DOING SO?
  • CONTACT 911 IF THEY FIND ANYTHING
  • After 911, plese call the Search HQ at 778-348-3603 so we can notify the family.

ANYTHING potentially of interest should be reported to police 911 and to 778-348-3603.

THANK YOU SO MUCH!!

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