Northern community rallies to help father search for missing son
TIMMINS -- Now over a week after Andre Beaudoin's son Ryan went missing in Cochrane, Ontario on August 4, the community is rallying together to form a weekend search party.
The local OPP detachment conducted a ground search in the Highway 652 and Murphy Road area on August 6 but Beaudoin is hoping to cover a wider radius — and he said he's blown away by the around 60 community members that came out to help Saturday.
"I just can't believe how close-knit everybody is here and what they're doing for me," Beaudoin said while setting up a food station for the volunteers.
"I really appreciate this so much, it's just overwhelming."
Beaudoin said he initially planned to have just a small group of people to help search but was surprised to see the support of family members who he hadn't spoken to in decades, plus community members he never met joining the effort.
With OPP officers aiding in the search, the group totals around 70 people.
Peter Picard lives in the area and never knew Beaudoin or his son, but said he and his family felt compelled to do their part to aid in the search of the 28 year-old.
"We have a son slightly younger and if our son went missing, we would certainly want people in the community to help us look for him," said Picard.
OPP officers on scene said they initially didn't intend to play an active role in the community effort since their initial search lead them to believe Ryan left his residence in a pickup truck.
But officers said additional information has come to their attention that's leading them to search other parts of the area.
Beaudoin said while he is hoping for a positive result, he is preparing for the worst case scenario — but more so hopes word of this search reaches Ryan and prompts him to contact family.
"I still really hope that he's alive and he is out there somewhere," said Beaudoin.
"I'm hoping that if he does see this that he will give his dad a call."