Police release new images of man missing after Victoria fire
Emily Olsen, CTV Vancouver Island
Published Wednesday, May 15, 2019 2:28PM PDT
Last Updated Wednesday, May 15, 2019 6:54PM PDT
There is a new lead in the search for the missing Plaza Hotel caretaker, Mike Draeger.
Draeger has not been seen since before the fire that destroyed the vacant hotel last week.
However, police have obtained footage of Draeger taken prior to the fire that more accurately identifies his current appearance, they said.
“Hopefully these will spur some interest in the public and we can locate him,” said VicPD Const. Matthew Rutherford on Wednesday.
“His appearance has been changed compared to some of the photos that have been shared.”
A previous photo was shared by Draeger’s former coworker and friend, Wayne Kalnciems, who worked in the building years ago.
He says the previous photo made public was at least 10 years old but that he and Draeger haven’t spoken in years.
“It’s hard to say [what happened],” Kalnciems said. “I don’t want to think the worst.”
Victoria police are confident these new photos will help locate Draeger or someone who might know where he is or was on the morning of the fire.
“We can’t speculate. We have to work with the facts,” said Rutherford. “We’re asking for the public’s help.”
Before the release of the images, there were no recent photos of Draeger and identification has been challenging.