Friend dismisses idea MacKinnon just left

Friends and family have not stopped searching for Rod MacKinnon, the Lake Cowichan man who went missing May 2. His truck was found on Fairservice Main, a logging road south and west of Lake Cowichan, and an official search found no trace of the 35-year-old experienced woodsman before it was called off.

A posting on Facebook from Tuesday is typical of the continuing effort.

"Again no leads! Just means that we have to search a little harder. Words cannot express how grateful the family is to have so many people that truly care," it read.

Susan Kenyon Lowe, one of the friends who has been out searching, said that it’s tough to be finding nothing but people are still out every day.

"The official search and rescue has been suspended but there are lots of family and friends that continue to go out. I was on the mountain for four days and I’ve been out on every day off. I was out all weekend; I concentrated in the Hudgrove Road area," she said.

That road is in an isolated section located on the southern side of the Cowichan River, east of the town of Lake Cowichan.

There was a good reason for looking there, she said.

"If you come down the mountain from where his truck was parked, that’s around the area. If he walked from his truck down the mountain as the crow flies, he could get in and around the Hudgrove area."

But no sign of MacKinnon has been seen, she said.

"You keep on, though. You just go out and look and see if you can find anything unusual or unnatural, of course keeping an eye out for him."

Lowe also shared her opinion of some talk about MacKinnon that’s been starting to circulate.

"There has been some speculation that he has simply taken off. I do not believe that because I knew Rod and I know how close he is to his family. He simply wouldn’t do this. Absolutely not. He would get some word to his mom. He’s a caring, loving person. Something has happened to him," she said.

Lowe said she didn’t expect any more official search time to be put in unless further evidence emerges.

After not finding him already, "the question would be where would you set up that search?" she said, adding that friends and family are going on instinct now, based on what they know of MacKinnon’s skills as a woodsman. Cowichan Valley Search and Rescue personnel were out in force as soon as they were notified of the missing man and over the weekend that followed they were joined by other SAR teams from across the Island.

"Search and rescue did a fabulous job when they were there. There was one person there all night all the time in case he tried to make it back to where his truck had been found. If he had gone to get gas or something and was coming back up the mountain. The area was not left unattended for those whole three days," she said.

The search for MacKinnon has also reminded local people that Darreld Rayner, another Lake Cowichan resident, has never been found.

"Darreld Rayner went missing seven years ago to the week off the same road, Fairservice Main. He went missing May 7, 2007 and this is exactly the same area. It’s kind of creepy, and a lot of people have commented on that," Lowe said.

Lake Cowichan RCMP said they had no update on the search for the six-foot-three inch, 209-pound MacKinnon, although they are still looking for anyone with information to contact the detachment at 250-749-6668.