Jeffery Phan, 24, Michelle Lesaca, 24, and two children, three-year-old Satana Phan and two-year-old Satan Phan went missing after their abandoned vehicle was found along the highway in the Dease Lake area. (Contributed photo)

Missing Oregon family found after possibly getting lost on purpose

Officials say family of four was found near Dease Lake after their vehicle was apparently abandoned

A family of four from Oregon was found safe Wednesday after officials say they may have gotten lost on purpose in northern B.C.

The search for Jeffery Phan, 24, Michelle Lesaca, 24, and two children, Satana, 3, and Satan, 2, began early Wednesday morning after their vehicle, a black 2018 Toyota Yaris, was found two days earlier near Highway 37 near Dease Lake.

A sign had been left on the car, saying the driver had left to find fuel.

A large search of the area was launched along the route the family was believed to have taken after they entered Canada June 9 at the Rooseville crossing near Fernie.

The four were spotted by a PEP Air air unit in the backcountry on Wednesday afternoon.

“They are safe and in care of police to make sure they’re good and healthy, which they are,” said Terrace Search and Rescue vice president Dave Jephson. “It’s an excellent outcome. I did not expect this outcome at all, to have four alive individuals. We’re very happy.”

In a strange turn, Jephson said the SAR team’s experience with the family indicates they had intentionally gone into the wilderness and did not want to be found.

“Who knows why?” Jephson said. “I think they were out there intentionally to … have no idea.”

RCMP learned the family had planned to travel to the Philippines on May 25, but later cancelled their flight at the airport in Portland, Ore., just prior to boarding.

Police do not yet know the family’s citizenship status, nor why they crossed into Canada.

Search and rescue teams from Smithers and Stewart also contributed to finding the family.


 


brittany@terracestandard.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Just Posted

RCMP looking for tips after motorcycle and truck collide

Fairmont Hot Springs crash temporarily closed road while officers investigated

Two fires of note burning in Southeast Fire Centre

As of Saturday afternoon there were more than 20 fires burning in the Southeast Fire Centre.

Car show runs ahead this September

Radium Show & Shine gears up for annual event September 14-15

Happy days are here again with Valley Appreciation Day

Annual event fills downtown with fun and festivity

No rent; no tent

Backcountry campers need permit to park

Update: Police probe Toronto shooting that killed 2, injured 12; suspected gunman dead

Paramedics said many of the victims in Danforth, including a child, were rushed to trauma centres

Wartime Wednesdays

Invermere’s Elinor Florence investigates stories from our wartime past

Deadly L.A. market shooting started with domestic feud

A domestic incident ended after a car crashed into a pole outside Trader Joe’s market

Sunken duck boat to be raised after deadly Missouri accident

17 people died over the weekend in a deadly boat incident

Man extradited to Canada in B.C. killing, following arrest in South Korea

28-year-old Jui-Kai Weng was charged with second-degree murder and attempted murder

Canada beats Triple Crown for Canada Cup softball title

National team’s championship is first at B.C. tournament since 1996

Record high in Japan as heat wave grips the region

The temperature in a city north of Tokyo reached 41.1 degrees Celsius (106 degrees Fahrenheit) on Monday, the highest ever recorded in Japan.

Feds looking at ways to tackle wave of gun violence in Toronto: Minister

Toronto mayor John Tory spoke to the press following a mass casualty event in Toronto.

Most Read