View Royal firefighters Buchanan Elliott and Gerry Cadwallader search the shoreline of Upper Thetis Lake Tuesday morning for a missing 67-year-old woman.

Update: No sign of missing woman at Thetis Lake; search called off

Thetis Lake park is closed today as a search is underway for a 67-year-old woman reported missing in the park.



The search for a Saanich woman thought to be lost overnight in Thetis Lake park has been called off after crews found no trace of the 67-year-old.

As of early Tuesday afternoon, one remaining Metchosin Search and Rescue volunteer team was hiking the remote McKenzie Creek trail and lake area, but emergency responders have dismantled the command centre and the park has reopened.

“There’s been nothing at all,” said Linda Hillard of Metchosin Search and Rescue. “It’s very discouraging. We’ve got no clues, no signs to her preference for a particular area. It makes searching very difficult.”

Maria Huyben parked at Thetis Lake sometime Monday morning and her car was slapped with a violation ticket at 11:31 a.m. Family members told police she was “distraught” and search and rescue teams were called in just after 6 p.m. last night. A purse was visible in the front seat of Huyben’s car.

Metchosin SAR and Capital Regional District parks teams hit the main trails around upper and lower Thetis lakes until 3 a.m. last night, calling her name and blowing whistles.

View Royal Fire Rescue, Langford Fire Rescue, West Shore RCMP, Saanich Search and Rescue and a Victoria police canine unit also supported the search effort.

Emergency crews found a few hours to grab a nap in cots in the parking lot and the search resumed at first light Tuesday morning.

Crews on land and in boats scoured the shorelines of upper and lower Thetis Lake, Prior Lake and Highland Road, and retraced main trails and hiked dozens of obscure unmarked trails. Search teams used GPS tracking to map out covered areas, mainly the southern reaches of the vast, 833 hectare park.

Huyben frequently walks and hikes the marked trails around Thetis Lake and is known to be a fit person. The weather was mild last night and the forest extremely dry, giving Huyben an excellent chance of surviving alone in the elements, if she was in the park.

Finding no sign of Huyben is distressing for her family and for search crews, Hillard said.

“I’ve been at this a long time and it’s never easy,” she said. “It’s hard on the whole team. They take this stuff very personally.”

An extensive search over 18 hours involving dozens of volunteers yielded no clues either way as to the fate of Huyben, and the operation wrapped up around noon. RCMP released Huyben’s car to her relatives.

West Shore RCMP say the case has been handed to Saanich police as a missing person file.

“It is very unfortunate, we really feel for the family,” said CRD parks manager Janette Loveys. “We had hoped for some news.”

Anyone with information concerning this missing person can contact the West Shore RCMP detachment at 250-474-2264 or Crimestoppers at 250-386-TIPS (8477).

Just Posted

Victoria Beer Week celebrates ‘five years of cheers’

Nine day craft beer festival delves into home brew workshops, food pairings, and a road trip to Sooke

Transit open houses on better Peninsula bus service

SIDNEY — Improved BC Transit services to West Sidney and to the… Continue reading

Victoria Orchid Society hosts 30th annual show

Orchids in full bloom March 3 and 4 at Our Lady of Fatima Hall

Free public lecture timed with scientific meeting in Sidney

Oceanographer Gregory Johnson speaks on the robots that monitor ocean temperature and salinity

Victoria playing host to regional farm market conference

Food industry experts to attend three-day networking event, which is open to the public

The 2018 B.C. Games wrap up in Kamloops

The B.C. Winter Games comes to a close after a weekend of fun and excitment

Naval ship spills 30,000 litres of fuel in the Strait of Georgia

HMCS Calgary spilled fuel east of Nanaimo and Parksville on Saturday

Student Voice: Phones in school a tool for learning or weapon of mass distraction?

Spectrum student questions role of smart phones in school

Library’s French collection gets $15,000 boost

Provincial grant adds extra French-language materials to Greater Victoria Public Library collection

Spectrum to stage Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Students having fun with laughs in Broadway musical

B.C. boosts support for former youth in government care

More support coming for rent, child care and health care while they go back to school

Saanich skater golden at B.C. Winter Games

Desiree Grubell takes gold, Emily Walzak silver in Special Olympics figure skating.

SMUS stages Catch Me If You Can, the true tale of a con-artist

Musical follows tales of impersonator Frank Abagnale Jr.

B.C. VIEWS: Our not-so-New Democrats don’t rock the boat

Finance Minister Carole James takes the wheel, steers similar course

Most Read