Search teams revisit case of missing man

Search teams are gathering this weekend to scour the Mission area for a local boy who went missing more than two years ago.

Jeff Surtel’s parents, Gary and Dawn, said he went missing sometime between midnight and 5 a.m. April 29, 2007. The last people to see the 17-year-old were neighbours who had seen him ride off on his bike.

According to Marilyne Aalhus, director of development for the Missing Children Society of Canada, this is the best time of year to search, given environmental conditions are more stable.

A water search of the Fraser River was done shortly after Jeff’s disappearance, and nothing was found, she noted. MCSC is bringing Edmonton’s Canadian Search Dog Association to Mission Sunday, where the RCMP-certified cadaver dogs and handlers will comb the wooded areas for any traces of the missing boy.

The teams have already noted some “areas of interest” where their search will commence, and from there the group follows the dogs tracking any scents.

The night before Jeff’s disappearance, he had helped his father pick a movie from the video store at around 6 p.m. The family had planned to watch the movie after Gary and his wife returned from a birthday party, but when they got home at about 9 p.m., Jeff had changed his mind.

“Something happened between six and nine when, all of a sudden, he didn’t want to watch it. I don’t know what happened,” he told The Record last year.

Gary said his son stayed up late that night watching television.

When the family checked his bedroom Sunday morning, his bed hadn’t been slept in.

Jeff left behind $200 in cash in his bedroom as well as his bank cards.

Jeff was last seen on his bike, which is described as distinctive. It is a blue CCM mountain bike with a single shock rear suspension system and yellow front forks.

He is 6’1” tall, weighs around 150 lbs., has medium-length brown hair, brown eyes and wears rimmed glasses. He was last seen wearing dark-coloured jeans, a navy T-shirt and a blue hooded sweater.

Anyone with any information about Jeff’s whereabouts is urged to call Mission RCMP at 604-826-7161.

Jason Roessle

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