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Citizens organize own search for missing Sudbury councillor

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It has now been a full week since Greater Sudbury city councillor Michael Vagnini was last seen.

Michael Vagnini, 62, left home Jan. 27 in his Ram 1500 truck and had not been seen since. His family said he did not have his cellphone or his medication with him. (File)There is no new information from the Greater Sudbury Police Service as investigators continue their search around the McCharles Lake area, where the 62-year-old was last seen.

On Saturday, dozens of concerned citizens began their own search across Greater Sudbury and beyond.

They met at Local Jerky Plus on Fielding Road in Lively. The business owner Shawn Scott organized the citizens’ search.

Local business owner Shawn Scott organized the citizens’ search for the missing councillor on Saturday. (Angela Gemmill/CTV News Northern Ontario)“Michael is missing and we got to use all the resources that we possibly can,” he said, adding that he couldn’t just sit at home and wonder where his friend was.

“We’re kind of tied with leads, and it’s pretty much a needle in a haystack… Right now time is of the essence. We have to search. We have to find Michael. It’s been seven days now.”

Scott called Vagnini “an amazing man,” who helped him when he was facing his own hurdles in the past.

The concerned locate citizens left on their search Saturday armed with informational flyers and safety advice from a northern Ontario wilderness guide. (Angela Gemmill/CTV News Northern Ontario)Before heading off in all directions the volunteers were provided with piles of flyers and some last minute advice.

“Stay safe, don’t go off on your own being Sherlock Holmes or anything like that,” said Jason Paquette, a wilderness guide and survival expert.

“Report anything that you think is significant in any way because the smallest thing could open up the investigation.”

Volunteers were heading off all across the city and to outer limits. Others were heading as far away as Barrie, Sault Ste. Marie and North Bay.

Many of those who offered to help had been on the receiving end of help from the Ward 2 councillor in the past.

“There’s a lot of people that recognize that is who (Vagnini) is. He is known to many people for what he does do,” said Tom Price, a long-time friend and advisor to the city councillor.

“They all recognize his passion; he’s there to help them. So now they’re going to help him.”

Ward 2 Greater Sudbury City Councillor Michael Vagnini. (City of Greater Sudbury)

Any leads or tips the citizen searchers come across were to be passed on to the police tip line, which can be reached at 705-675-9171 extension 2320.

Anyone who sees or comes in contact with Michael Vagnini should call 9-1-1 immediately.

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