Evidence in the case of a missing 14-year-old Nelson girl cropped up in Trail on Tuesday.
Police confirmed they found some “personal items” near the stairwell behind the Cominco Arena belonging to Morgan Durocher, and had a canine unit out in the area Tuesday afternoon to follow the lead.
On Wednesday police called in 10 members of the South Columbia Search and Rescue and two Rossland Search and Rescue members to comb the hillside between the arena and Teck Trail Operations.
Although police thought it unlikely the girl would be found in the area—10 days after she was reported missing before “voluntarily” leaving Trail July 30—they had to take the necessary precautions and conduct a thorough search.
There was reason to believe the girl was still within the Trail and Nelson vicinity, said Trail RCMP Sgt. Rob Hawton.
“We have no reason to believe she has come into any foul play at this point,” he said while on the search scene.
Hawton suggested the teen might have slipped away to begin celebrating the Shambhala Music Festival a few days early. Monitoring of social media sites has indicated she may be heading there.
He said undercover and uniformed police officers will be looking for her at the event which begins this weekend on the Salmo River Ranch, 30 kilometres east of Trail.
Regional RCMP Staff Sgt. Dan Seibel said the investigation would continue as a missing person case.
“But this is a unique investigation because this girl has run away previously,” he said. “There are no suspicious or extenuating circumstances that we are aware of.”
As the days go by, he added, that could change.
Search and rescue members and the South Columbia’s canine unit were out Wednesday morning, dipping into the water with the swift water rescue team to cover the shoreline of the Columbia River from the Victoria Street Bridge to the U.S. border.
“This makes us certain that she is not here,” said South Columbia president Ron Medland Wednesday morning. “This is part of our due diligence in the matter.”
The members used a closed grid search of the hill as part of their search in the area near where the evidence was found.
Durocher’s family notified police that she walked off from her foster home in Trail on July 30 and hasn’t been seen since.
Hawton said this has happened before with Durocher but whenever a youth is involved they “have to take things seriously.”
Durocher is described as five foot, five inches tall, weighing 100 pounds, with shoulder length brown hair, green eyes, a small nose stud and braces.
Family members say if she is spotted she may run if approached and ask that the local police department be advised immediately.
The Nelson Police Department can be reached at 250-354-3919. Trail RCMP can be reached at 250-364-2566.