The search for a missing Gabriola man ended Thursday when his body was found by a group of hikers in the area where it was believed he had gone missing several days earlier.
David Hepper, 74, was last seen leaving his residence March 20, just after 9 a.m., when he waved goodbye to his wife to go for a walk on some trails at the end of Wild Cherry Terrace on Gabriola Island.
A search involving multiple agencies, including Nanaimo Search and Rescue, was called off after three days of scouring the area and following up other leads with no results.
“On March 24 at about 12:30 p.m., some individuals were walking on some trails in the area where he was reported missing and they’d located Mr. Hepper and he was deceased,” said Cpl. Markus Muntener, Gabriola RCMP spokesman. “Based on our investigation, at this point, there’s no foul play suspected.”
Hepper’s body was found about 40 metres from a trail in a heavily wooded area with thick undergrowth, Muntener said.