A sweeping search and investigation are underway for a 48-year-old Port Moody woman reported missing after her husband came home to an empty house.
Trina Hunt was last reported seen Jan. 18 at around 6 a.m. at her Heritage Woods home when her husband left for work. When he returned, she was nowhere to be found, prompting a call to the Port Moody Police Department, police spokesperson Sgt. Ian Morrison said.
That evening a Coquitlam Search and Rescue ground crew was deployed to the area around her house, where volunteer rescuers combed the nearby trails and wilderness area for the woman in the first of two eight-hour operational periods, said Coquitlam SAR president Tom Zajac.
In the nearly 48 hours since Hunt was first reported missing, Sgt. Morrison confirmed Port Moody police, an RCMP helicopter and a canine unit have all joined the search. “Folks need to be aware they may see the helicopter in the area again,” said Sgt. Morrison.
Port Moody police currently have about a half dozen officers on the case in an effort “to cover the most ground as possible.”
Hunt’s disappearance has spread widely across several online community boards and has galvanized people from across the Lower Mainland and as far away as Vancouver Island to join the search.
“It’s chaos,” said Christina Gower, who is helping some members of the family manage the flood of information. “Everyone is out looking... It’s just happening really fast.”
Gower said Hunt’s disappearance is “an absolutely total surprise to everybody” and that “we’re completely baffled.”
Colleagues, from security team members to nurses and family friends have taken to Facebook to organize a series of random searches. “When she does go for walks she’s not much of a hiker so she usually sticks to the roads,” said Gower.
Search parties are scouring the area from the Westwood Plateau Village (at the corner of David Avenue and Johnson Street) to Rocky Point park, and Gower is calling on anyone with security cameras to review footage for Hunt and report any suspicious activity to the Port Moody Police Department.
“It’s not just Trina we should look for. Please take screenshots of anything that may identify cars in the area or other people in the area. Hang onto those for further instructions,” wrote Gower in a Facebook post.
In a call with the Tri-City News, she added, “The family is being inundated right now with offers of support... Just go through police.”
Sgt. Morrison said police are heartened and understand the desire to take on a search for the missing woman, but urged anybody looking to comb the surrounding streets and trails to take appropriate precautions to avoid getting lost themselves.
“I can understand that folks want to help,” said Sgt. Morrison. We’re also not in a position to tell people they can’t do that.”
“But we want folks to be safe.”
That means leaving a trip plan behind and not searching alone. Fliers prepared by family and friends are urging people to charge their cell phones and pack such essential items such as emergency blankets.
Police describe Hunt as five feet four inches tall and 120 pounds. She was last believed to be wearing purple Cloudflyer shoes and a The North Face brand black, puffy down jacket with a green collar.
Anyone with information about her whereabouts is urged to contact the Port Moody Police Department’s non-emergency line at 604-461-3456.