Friends of an Abbotsford man who was last seen near a campground in Hope on Aug. 24 says his disappearance is out of character, and they are concerned about what has happened to him.
Angie Korkowski, executive director of Joshua House recovery ministry in Abbotsford, says friends are worried that Tim Rutherford could have gone down an embankment or that he might have relapsed after eight years of being clean and sober.
They are trying to remain hopeful and not think about the worst-case scenario.
Hope RCMP issued a press release on Tuesday, asking for the public’s help in trying to locate Rutherford, 46.
He was last seen by a camp ranger on Sunday, Aug. 24 at about 1 p.m., when he was parked at the Jones Lake pull-out near the Highway 1 exit 153 in Hope.
Rutherford had been camping in the area, but none of his friends or family have seen or heard from him since.
His vehicle, a 1998 hunter-green Ford Explorer with a sunroof and B.C. licence plate 542 WTP, has not been located.
Korkowski said Rutherford, whom she has known since 2006, had been a Joshua House staff member when he abruptly quit his job on July 28.
She said he seemed distraught at the time, and announced that he was going to go camping to get away and clear his head.
He was in touch with friends every couple of days, and Korkowski said she last heard from him on Aug. 21.
Friends tried to reach him on his cellphone after that, but their calls went straight to voice mail.
A worried Korkowski, accompanied by her husband and a friend, went searching for Rutherford on Friday, Aug. 29. They located his campsite, which was still set up with his tent, camp stove, and other personal items, but Rutherford and his vehicle were gone.
The trio could find no sign of him, and reported their concerns to police.
Korkowski said Rutherford loved to go four-by-fouring in his SUV, and she is concerned that he might have had an accident, perhaps rolling down an embankment.
“It’s a scary place to think that he’s out there alone or hurt,” she said.
Korkowski said friends are also concerned that Rutherford might have relapsed and is afraid to face them, but she said they will support and help him if that is the case.
“I just want to bring him home … I consider him like my little brother. It’s so sad that nobody has heard from him at all,” she said.
Rutherford is described as 5′ 1″, heavyset, with shoulder-length brown hair, and a brown/red moustache. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Hope RCMP at 604-869-7750 and reference Hope file 2014-29457, or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.