Jeffery Phan, 24, Michelle Lesaca, 24, and two children, three-year-old Satana Phan and two-year-old Satan Phan went missing after their abandoned vehicle was found along the highway in the Dease Lake area. (Contributed photo)

Missing Oregon family found after possibly getting lost on purpose

Officials say family of four was found near Dease Lake after their vehicle was apparently abandoned

A family of four from Oregon was found safe Wednesday after officials say they may have gotten lost on purpose in northern B.C.

The search for Jeffery Phan, 24, Michelle Lesaca, 24, and two children, Satana, 3, and Satan, 2, began early Wednesday morning after their vehicle, a black 2018 Toyota Yaris, was found two days earlier near Highway 37 near Dease Lake.

A sign had been left on the car, saying the driver had left to find fuel.

A large search of the area was launched along the route the family was believed to have taken after they entered Canada June 9 at the Rooseville crossing near Fernie.

The four were spotted by a PEP Air air unit in the backcountry on Wednesday afternoon.

“They are safe and in care of police to make sure they’re good and healthy, which they are,” said Terrace Search and Rescue vice president Dave Jephson. “It’s an excellent outcome. I did not expect this outcome at all, to have four alive individuals. We’re very happy.”

In a strange turn, Jephson said the SAR team’s experience with the family indicates they had intentionally gone into the wilderness and did not want to be found.

“Who knows why?” Jephson said. “I think they were out there intentionally to … have no idea.”

RCMP learned the family had planned to travel to the Philippines on May 25, but later cancelled their flight at the airport in Portland, Ore., just prior to boarding.

Police do not yet know the family’s citizenship status, nor why they crossed into Canada.

Search and rescue teams from Smithers and Stewart also contributed to finding the family.


 


brittany@terracestandard.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Just Posted

Greyhound’s departure opens door for BC Bus

After years of service cuts and declining service quality, Greyhound’s corporate owners… Continue reading

Update: Park pipeline protesters say arrest is a ‘declaration of war’

Led by Kanahus Manuel, the Tiny House Warriors moved into park in Clearwater last week

Police investigating more racist slogans on First Nations signs

Police are investigating racist graffiti being posted on First Nations signs in the Kamloops area

Update: Kamloops wildfire now mapped at 500 hectares

Firefighters worked overnight on what was a fast-growing wildfire east of Kamloops.

France doubles up Croatia 4-2 to win World Cup

Played in Moscow Russia, latest Fifa World Cup marks the highest scoring final since 1966

BC Games: Day 2 comes to an end

Hundreds of medals have been handed out at the 2018 BC Summer Games in the Cowichan Valley

B.C. mining company, involved in 2014 spill, ordered to pay lost wages

Mount Polley Mining Company must pay wages to 26 employees who were laid off without proper notice

Two significant wildfires burning in southeastern B.C.

More than 20 fires were burning in the Southeast Fire Centre as of Saturday afternoon

Volunteers provide the glue that keeps BC Games moving

The 2018 Cowichan Summer Games had more than 2,300 volunteers on hand across Vancouver Island

No Name brand chicken nuggets recalled due to possible salmonella

Canadian Food Inspection Agency says multiple illnesses reported in B.C., Alberta and Ontario

Lodeiro scores twice to help Sounders beat Whitecaps 2-0

Seattle’s Nicolas Lodeiro opened the scoring in the fifth minute when he converted a penalty kick

Race walker breaks 18-year-old BC Games record

Zone 6 athlete Olivia Lundman crossed finish line with ease, to loud cheers in Cowichan

PHOTO GALLERY: BC Games Day 2

A brief look at action from the 2018 BC Summer Games in the Cowichan Valley

BC Wildfire update on 14 major Okanagan blazes

Watch the media briefing on the current fire situation in the Okanagan.

Most Read