Missing hiker was experienced, well-prepared, family says
The search for missing hiker Murray Naswell continued in Strathcona Provincial Park Sunday, as friends and family worried about what might have befallen him.
The 50-year-old left his home in Courtenay on Tuesday and hiked into the park, setting up camp at Kwai Lake and telling other campers there that he planned to hike up to the summit of Mount Albert Edward on Wednesday.
He reached the peak and signed the register there, but he never returned to his campsite, prompting fellow campers to call in an anonymous tip that he was missing.
Naswell was planning to return home on Friday. When he didn't, he officially became missing.
Crews from Comox Valley Search and Rescue scoured the park on Saturday, both on foot and from the air. On Sunday, volunteers continued the search, though bad weather meant they could only do so from the ground.
If Naswell wasn't found on Sunday, crews from every search team on Vancouver Island, plus several teams from the Lower Mainland, were expected to join in the search.
Kimberly Naswell, the missing man's niece, told CTV News Vancouver Island her uncle is an experienced hiker who had rented the appropriate supplies for a camping trip in the park. She said his family is concerned that he hasn't returned home.
"Obviously we're worried," Kimberly Naswell said. "Really worried. It's not like him to just not come home."
She said because his things are still at his campsite, it's possible her uncle injured himself on his way back down the mountain.
"We're thinking that something might have happened on the hike, maybe he fell and hurt himself," Kimberly Naswell said. "That's kind of what search and rescue is thinking."
Police are asking the hikers who provided the anonymous tip about Murray Naswell to identify themselves so that they can be asked more questions.