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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

VIDEO: Car goes off Highway 1 and into a ditch in Chilliwack

Eastbound vehicle left the highway ending in the ditch on south side of Luckakuck Way

Emergency crews respond to ATV rollover near Harrison

ATV rolled over on or near Harrison East Forest Service Road near Harrison Hot Springs

Guilty verdict for one of two men in large illegal marijuana grow-operation in Chilliwack

Charges dismissed against property owner where 3,200 plants, 32 kgs of dried weed found in 2017

Cubs rescued, hunter fined after sow shot in Skagit Valley

Officers opt for fines, as hefty punishment could prevent hunter cooperation in future

95-site RV camping to be built in Manning Park

RV park one of first to be built in a provincial park

VIDEO: Musqueam Chief captures captivating footage of bald eagle catching meal

‘This is why we have chosen to live here since time immemorial,’ Chief Wayne Sparrow’s nephew says

Semi and BMW collide on South Surrey highway

At least one person to hospital, both vehicles sustained significant damage

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

Langley vigil demands justice for Ontario animal activist killed protesting slaughterhouse

More than two dozen people gathered at Britco Pork to remember Regan Russell, and fight Bill 156

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Most Read