- BC Games
Tip leads investigators to North Shore mountains in search of missing British tourist
A credible tip about missing British tourist Tom Billings led to an exhaustive search of the North Shore mountains on Wednesday.
After issuing a press release on Tuesday (Nov. 3) about the 22-year-old Brit who was last seen on Nov. 25, VPD received information from a hiker who'd possibly seen a man matching Billings' description on a mountain trial on the North Shore and even had a brief conversation with him.
The hiker told police the man had a British or Australian accent.
That information led to "an extensive search in the area that we had information that Mr. Billings may have been seen in," explained VPD Const. Brian Montague.
North Shore Rescue was dispatched immediately and used both a helicopter and foot patrols to search areas from the Capilano Watershed to Lynn Headwaters.
Wednesday evening at around 4 p.m. NSR crews were combing the Crown Creek drainage area near Grouse Mountain — a spot where they've located lost hikers in the past. "It's a treacherous spot," explained NSR leader Tim Jones.
Along with NSR members scouring the area, a RCAF helicopter with night vision capabilities joined the search after dark but there was still no sign of the missing man.
Const. Montague said with no evidence discovered on Wednesday to justify continuing the search, there wouldn't be another attempt on Thursday.
If any additional information comes in that could "pinpoint an area then we'll do that," he added.
Billings, 22, (pictured at left) is described as a Caucasian male, five-seven and 160 pounds with short blond hair and blue eyes. He was last seen wearing a black jacket and military-style pants.Police said in a release that he's "a seasoned traveller and an avid hiker. He had discussed a number of locations he wanted to visit and hike in the Lower Mainland, including the North Shore mountains."
According to the VPD, Billings was planning to travel to the U.S. at the end of November and then return to England on Dec. 7. "His family and friends have not heard from him and are concerned for his well-being. His disappearance is completely out of character," stated the release.
If you have any information about his whereabouts, contact the Vancouver police at 604-717-3321.