Trailer occupied by missing Plaza Hotel caretaker, not evidence says VicPD

Mike Draeger is still considered missing, not a suspect

One man is still missing months after a massive fire tore through the Plaza Hotel early May.

Mike Draeger, the caretaker of the hotel, was known to sometimes occupy the hotel and the chrome Airstream trailer parked in the hotel’s back alley.

On June 28, Victoria Police confirmed the fire was arson. Following reports the Airstream trailer was sold by the owner of the towing company responsible for its removal, Police Chief Del Manak says the vehicle was not considered evidence in the investigation.

RELATED: Victoria Police confirm downtown Plaza Hotel fire was arson

“Any evidence that we feel would have been critical to the investigation, we would have seized,” said Manak, while at an event regarding back to school road safety.

Although he isn’t directly involved in the investigation, Manak is briefed on the details regularly.

“[The trailer has] been sold and it’s moved on, it wasn’t required as a part of the key pieces of evidence,” said Manak.

RELATED: Former coworker finds it strange that caretaker is missing after fire

Details of the arson have not been released, but earlier comments from Victoria Fire Department Chief Paul Bruce alluded to the possibility of a fire accelerant in the building’s basement, saying that the fire was “either burning undetected for a long time, or there was rapid fire spread.”

Both VicPD and the BC Coroners Service say no human remains were located in the debris.

According to Manak, Draeger is not considered a suspect at this point and is still considered missing.

“It’s kind of a bit of a unique situation that we haven’t dealt with all that often,” he said. “When you’ve got an arson of that magnitude and then a missing person … [it] has been a bit of a challenge but we’re doing the best we can and continue to follow some active leads.”

There are currently no suspects in the arson investigation, added Manak.

– With files from Nicole Crescenzi



kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

The May 6 fire that engulfed the Old Plaza hotel has since been deemed suspicious and the investigation is on going. (Victoria Police)

Just Posted

COVID-19: Saanich company joins nation-wide effort to produce 30,000 ventilators

StarFish Medical using a ‘purpose-driven design for rapid manufacturing,’ CEO says

Judge rejects pandemic as reason to grant bail to immunocompromised prisoner

Esquimalt man told there are more health risks for addicts on the street than there are in jail

Canoe found in men’s public bathroom in Cadboro-Gyro Park

‘Please do not park your canoe in our bathrooms,’ say Saanich parks staff

Sidney senior welcomes outreach phone calls from charity

A long-time user of Sidney’s SHOAL Centre, praises Beacon Community Services

VicPD asks for help finding owner of recovered camera

Camera contained images of a family celebrating a wedding

UPDATE: Canadians awake to extra COVID-19 emergency benefit money, feds clarify changes

The CRA and federal officials are working to clarify the confusion around payments

B.C. records five more deaths due to COVID-19, 45 new cases

A total of 838 people have recovered from the virus

Major crimes investigating sudden death of North Okanagan child

The 8 year old was flown to Kelowna General Hospital and died hours later

Easter Bunny added to B.C.’s list of essential workers

Premier John Horgan authorizes bunny to spread “eggs-ellent cheer” throughout province

Travellers returning to B.C. must have self-isolation plan or face quarantine: Horgan

Premier John Horgan says forms must be filled out by travellers

More than 400 animals have been adopted amid pandemic: B.C. SPCA

People are taking this time of social distancing to find a loyal companion through the animal welfare group

VIDEO: More than 85 people displaced by Campbell River apartment fire

Traffic is being diverted around Dogwood Street and 9th Avenue

Thieves steal $5,000 worth of cigarettes and candy from semi trailer in Nanaimo

Culprits hit truckload in shipping company storage yard on Old Victoria Road on Monday

Most Read