Jonathan Hannaford (striped shirt

Update: Christopher Hannaford found dead on Harrison River

Police confirm Saturday morning that body found near campsite was missing Surrey man

Police confirmed Saturday morning that Christopher Hannaford was the man who was found dead on Friday afternoon.

Hannaford, 27, was last seen on a gravel bar near Old Orchard Campground on Kennedy Road in Harrison Mills, just east of Agassiz. A body was found on a gravel bar in the same area at about 4 p.m. Friday afternoon.

The deceased’s brother Jonathan waited for about two hours on the riverbank Friday evening, as police, a coroner and Kent Harrison Search and Rescue retrieved a then-unidentified body from a gravel bar not far from the riverside campground.

It was a sombre wait as the sun set, as recreational boaters and fishermen came and went from the boat launch near the Harrison River bridge. Hannaford’s body was brought to shore at about 7:20 p.m., and the brother was given the chance to identify the body aboard the SAR boat.

When the body was brought onto the dock, SAR members, RCMP, Hannaford and his friend all stood silently for a minute or two, before a visibly distraught Hannaford returned to his vehicle.

Hannaford and his friend had just arrived in the area from out of province.

RCMP media liaison Cst. Tracy Wolbeck confirmed with Black Press Saturday morning that the body was indeed Hannaford’s.

“Although this is a very sad ending to a long and involved search, Chris’s family now has the closure they need to move on,” said Cst. Tracy Wolbeck.  She confirmed that Hannaford’s brother had arrived from Newfoundland on the day his brother’s body was discovered and was able to assist police in making a positive identification.

The cause of death will not be released until a full coroner’s examination has been completed.

Wolbeck thanked everyone who was involved in the search for Christopher Hannaford.

On Friday, a man had called The Observer’s sister paper, The Chilliwack Progress, at about 4:15 p.m., saying that his brother had found the body. Police say the two brothers had been fishing in the area, not far from where Hannaford is thought to have fallen in the water.

Ironically, the search for Hannaford had been scaled back on Friday, after an RCMP dive team and Air 1 helicopter had not detected any sign of the missing man.

SAR member Neil Brewer said on scene Friday that every conceivable area of the river was searched before the attempts were scaled down, including all gravel bars, log sorts and all the river’s edges.

On Friday, police said they do not believe foul play was involved in Hannaford’s disappearance, but that drinking may have been involved.

Watch this website for further developments in the story.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Harrison sailor looking for competitors to race model boats

Bernhard Van Velze is hoping to create a club for model sailboats at Harrison Lake

Community artists, amateurs wanted to create Kent anniversary logo

The 125th anniversary committee is hoping to choose a logo designed by the community

Kent to weigh in on ride-sharing policies

The district will be submitting comments to the province on what ride sharing should look like

Chilliwack prolific offender wanted yet again

B.C.-wide warrant issued for David Allen Geoghegan

One man, two women charged with stolen pickup downtown Chilliwack

None of the three have criminal history in B.C.

REPLAY: B.C’s best videos this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

Patriots make 3rd straight Super Bowl, beat Chiefs 37-31 in OT

New England will meet L.A. Rams in NFL title game

Pettersson returns to lead Canucks to 3-2 win over Red Wings

Vancouver’s super rookie has 2 points in first game back after knee injury

Crash closes Coquihalla southbound lane south of Merritt

Accident occurred approximately 26 kilometres south of Merritt

Skaters stranded in Saint John, NB, amid storm on last day of championships

More than half of the flights out of the city’s airport were cancelled due to the weather

Call for tighter bail rules after Saudi sex-crime suspect vanishes

Mohammed Zuraibi Alzoabi was facing charges related to alleged sexual assault, criminal harassment, assault and forcible confinement of a woman

12 poisoned eagles found on Vancouver Island

Improper disposal of euthanized animal suspected

Olympic softball qualifier to be held in B.C.

Tournament is to be held Aug. 25 to Sept. 1

B.C. resident creates global sport training program

The 20 hour course teaches the science and application of interval training at the university level

Most Read