More than 40 volunteers have joined the search for Ethan Sampson who has been missing since last Thursday night.
The 28-year-old Cowichan Tribes man was last seen at 10:40 p.m. in the fast-moving Cowichan River running along Quamichan Road West, according to the RCMP.
Cowichan Search and Rescue and the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP were called and a search began but there was no sign of Sampson. Friends and family members continued the search over the weekend, a task made more difficult by the heavy rains and flooding that occurred on Friday and Saturday.
“There are two teams with two leaders that are searching along the banks of the river,” Cowichan Tribes councillor Jen Charlie said Monday morning.
“We’re continuing today and trying to keep the hopes up for the family,” she said.
A helicopter flew over the area on Monday morning and Charlie said community members have been using drones to search the river as the rushing waters of the Cowichan River make their way to the ocean.
Ethan’s father, Darack Sampson says it’s out of character for his son to disappear for an extended period and he hopes for the best.
“He’d rather be at home than anywhere,” Sampson said of his soccer-loving son who has worked at Sportchek for the last eight years.
“He’d come home from work and practice soccer and work out,” he added.
Jen Charlie knows Ethan and his family well.
“My son is best friends with [Ethan’s brothers]. He has a lot of friends. He’s a positive young man with many friends up and down the Island,” she said.
“Ethan has a lot of friends, through soccer, on and off-reserve including his co-workers at Sportchek. He’s been there since day one,” Darack Sampson said.
Sampson is a First Nations male, about 5 foot 6, with a slender build. He was last seen wearing rolled-up jeans.
Those with information related to the whereabouts of Ethan Sampson are encouraged to contact the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP at 748-5522 or, Crime Stoppers, anonymously, by either calling 1-800-222-8477 or by visiting cowichancrimestoppers.com