The search party for missing Brandon-area man Jordan Ross is casting its net far and wide and asking for the public’s help as the search continues.
Ross’ brother Jeff said the search party is asking for the help of anyone with a drone, watercraft, or experienced kayakers in searching along the Assiniboine River.
"We haven’t found him yet," said Jeff on Monday afternoon while seated at a picnic bench at the Grand Valley Campground.
The search is focusing on the river, but teams are still combing the bush in the area, he said. There is also air support from helicopters and planes planned throughout the week.
"We’re trying to cast our net far and wide, we don’t know if he’s in the river or if he’s somewhere else … We need more information."
Ross, a pillar of Brandon’s skateboard and snowboarding community, was last seen leaving his home around 8:15 a.m. Friday to do some work at the Grand Valley Provincial Park Campground, which he runs.
The 41-year-old’s vehicle was eventually located beside the bridge on the Trans-Canada Highway and Assiniboine River near the campground.
The water level in the river is very high and is moving quickly, so Jeff said the search party is specifically looking for experienced kayakers to help.
When the Sun visited Monday afternoon, a brick building at the campground had been turned into a staging area for volunteers and searchers. The small building was buzzing with activity as Jeff sat at a computer, pouring over a map and volunteers around him got a snack or co-ordinated search efforts.
Crates of water and food for volunteers were stacked inside. Small groups of people wearing backpacks and carrying water bottles headed out from the building into the campground and surrounding space to look for Ross.
The RCMP is leading the investigation, Jeff said. Currently, searchers are waiting on phone records from Ross’ phone.
The team is also looking for truckers or any vehicles passing the area on Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. who may have seen anything suspicious or have dash cam video, Jeff said.
So far there have been more than 150 volunteers registered to help in the search effort, Jeff said. Assistance in the form of food provisions and emotional support from the community has been "overwhelming," he said.
"[Jordan] was loved by everybody," he said.
The search party is trying to make the decision on whether to keep sending ground crews out, he said. The decisions are day by day and the search party is forming a leadership committee to decide what to do.
Anyone available is asked to contact the group through the Find Jordan Ross Facebook page or meet at 9 a.m. Tuesday at the Grand Valley Campground.
The search is focusing on the part of the river east of the Trans-Canada Highway.
Since search organizers issued a call for help on social media, the party has been joined by Search and Rescue Manitoba, the RCMP, family, friends and volunteers, who have all been combing the surrounding land for clues.
Air and water rescue units have also been dispatched to search the area, said RCMP spokesperson Sgt. Paul Manaigre. The search was still being investigated as a missing person case on Monday as the focus shifted to the water.
Ross’ disappearance has been a complete shock to the family, said family-friend and designated spokesperson Jaime Stouffer. There were no signs of distress or any indication that he was in danger leading up to his disappearance.
Ross is described as five-foot-10, 175 pounds and bald.
Anyone with information regarding his whereabouts is asked to contact the Blue Hills RCMP detachment at 204-726-7522.
Jeff said the team is also looking for help maintaining the Grand Valley Campground in his brother’s absence. Anyone who can mow the grass or chop wood is also asked to contact the group.
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