A search by fellow workers was unsuccessful in location the member of the Neskonlith Indian Band near Chase, B.C., and police were notified of his disappearance the next day.
North District Advisory NCO Constable Lesley Smith says his backpack was located several hundred metres from where he was dropped off, which concerns police as he is no longer equipped with the necessities for being out in the wilderness.
“Although Lyle Martin is known as an experienced outdoors person with advanced hunting, fishing and backcountry skills, we are extremely concerned,” she says. “He was equipped with the necessities for a one-day excursion and we’ve since located his backpack.”
The ground and air search by Fort Nelson Search and Rescue and volunteers on ATVs continues, with the help of a police service dog from Fort St. John and a local helicopter. However, search teams are having difficulties with the terrain, which includes fallen trees, thick brush, and swamps, as well as an “overwhelming presence” of bugs.
“Even though our search efforts continue, we still have no trace of Lyle Martin,” adds Constable Smith.
The search for another missing mushroom picker in late June was more successful, as the 46 year old male was located by a helicopter pilot only one day after his disappearance.
The Anahim Lake First Nation member had been out on June 24 with three other mushroom pickers, on the Lehman Road area near Anahim Lake, but did not make it to the gathering site that afternoon. The pilot of an RCMP Kodiak airplane from Prince George Air Services spotted a plume of smoke the morning of the 25th, and the picker was found huddled under a tree, and was treated for hypothermia.
Smith points out that the Anahim Lake man was only missing for a night, while it has been three days since Martin was last seen.