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UPDATED: Search to resume Friday for missing tourist after women report 'lengthy conversation'
The search for missing tourist Tom Billings is expected to resume on Friday after new information received from two women who reported having a conversation with him at Lynn Headwaters on the day he disappeared.
A search was scheduled for today but has been delayed due to poor weather.
"We know that these two trail runners have totally credible information," North Shore Rescue team leader Tim Jones told The Outlook.
"He wanted to go to Crown [Mountain] and they told him not to go, that it was going to be too dark by the time he finishes."
Then, according to Jones, Billings apparently told the runners he planned to "go straight through to Grouse and then take the bus back where [he was] staying in Vancouver."
In the lengthy conversation, Billings reportedly also asked questions about which buses he should take after his day hike.
The women saw Billings' photo yesterday on Twitter and realized they had spoken with him on Nov. 25, the day the 22-year-old British tourist went missing after leaving the 1400-block of East Broadway in Vancouver. They said he was wearing clothes similar to those reported — a green shirt and grey pants.
"This is the only credible sighting we've had of him," said Jones, adding there are also two unconfirmed sightings in North Van.
More than 100 people contacted North Shore Rescue after the public was asked to look for anomalies on aerial photos and videos of Grouse Mountain, Lynn Canyon and Mackay Creek that were released within the last four days.
One of the hikers who says she talked to Billings was alerted to his disappearance after North Shore Rescue Tweeted a photo of him. She then forwarded the information to her friend who also met Billings but hadn't heard about his disappearance because she was on vacation.
So far, Jones says North Shore Rescue has looked into several reported anomalies in the heavily forested terrain — such as the possibility of a blue tent and a mysterious red object — but haven't found anything that could lead to Billings.
"They don't think he's alive. It would be a miracle [if he was], but the only way we're going to find out is to find him," said Jones.