Search for missing Calgary man last seen in November, held in Lethbridge this weekend
A ground search was held in Lethbridge, Alta., on Saturday and Sunday for a missing Calgary man who was last seen on Nov. 17.
Dozens of family, friends, and community members gathered at the Indian Battle Park in Lethbridge searching for any trace of Marshal Iwaasa.
The search began early in the morning on both days around 9 a.m. and went on until the late afternoon. The headquarters for the search party was held at the Helen Schuler Nature Centre.
Iwaasa’s sister, Paige Fogen said the group found several miscellaneous items, such as hats, hoodies, and animals parts during their search, but she believes none of the items are connected to Iwaasa.
Fogen said she received pictures of items that were found, so she could determine whether they had belonged to Iwaasa. Any spots of interest that were found during the ground search were flagged, in order for Lethbridge police to review at some point.
Fogen said she has been working closely with the Lethbridge police to help verify information, however she said there are currently no new leads or developments in the case.
According to Fogen, search dogs and drones were also used to help canvas the area. She says 80 acres area of land were covered on Saturday alone.
She said Mike Hoffman and his team, Wings of Mercy, assisted the search with their drones. Alex McNeil brought in his canine pack to help with the search as well.
Fogen said about 40 volunteers helped with the search on both Saturday and Sunday, some people stayed the whole day, while others would trickle in and out.
Lunch, snacks and beverages were provided to the volunteers.
Fogen said the family truly appreciates all of the help and support they have been receiving from the community.
“We’ve had so much community support, it’s tremendous. We’ve been able to search so much more than we had ever anticipated,” Fogen said.
Fogen said searchers came across some garbage during their search and wanted to help clean up the area they were canvassing, so volunteers took bags and gloves out with them as well.
She added they decided to partner with Coulee Clean-up to help give back to the community.
Fogen said they will continue to search for Iwaasa until they can get a definite answer as to what happened.
“As his family, as his sister, that’s my job: to make sure we find something and have answers. This is the first of many searches,” she said.
Fogen said once the weather is better in B.C. and there is less snow on the ground, they will hold a search around Pemberton, where Iwaasa’s truck was found in late November, after being torched.
She added they are looking into doing a search in Calgary sometime in the near future as well, weather permitting.
Iwaasa’s family held a vigil on Friday, Jan. 3 for his 27th birthday, with close to 100 people attending.
With files from Emily Olsen
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