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Search for missing Port Moody woman takes on ‘life of its own’

Port Moody police appeal for security and dashcam footage amid community mobilization

Port Moody police are appealing to the public to share home security and dashcam footage captured on Heritage Mountain Monday as they continue their search for a 48-year-old woman who vanished earlier this week.

Police are asking for any footage captured between 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Jan. 18, the day Trina Hunt went missing. 

“Police have already made contact with many residents and would ask to only hear from someone who has not already spoken to police,” wrote PMPD Sgt. Ian Morrison in a press release late Thursday.

As Port Moody police continue their search for 48-year-old Trina Hunt, an entire community of friends, neighbours and complete strangers has mobilized to comb the streets, trails, parks and ravines around her Heritage Woods home.

Hunt was reported missing by her husband on Monday evening when he returned from work to find their home empty. She was last seen at around 6 a.m. that morning.

The effort began as a general call-out over social media for people to keep their eyes peeled for the five-foot, four-inch, 120-pound woman who is believed to be wearing a black, puffy North Face down jacket with a green collar and purple Cloudflyer shoes. 

But by Wednesday evening it had evolved into an organized search: colour flyers have been affixed to trees and lampposts across Port Moody and Coquitlam, and even handed out directly to homes and people passing by

Meanwhile, volunteer organizers are doing everything they can to keep searchers going, distributing boxes of snacks and individually-wrapped sandwiches, bottles of water and hand sanitizer, maps and even masks.

Jessica Suryavanshi offered up the driveway and front yard of her Maple Drive home as an impromptu command centre, with a gazebo to keep supplies dry and propane heaters to provide warmth as the sun goes down. 

Thursday morning, she and Tazeem Nanji were working with Stephanie Ibbott, who’s from Courtenay and whose husband is a cousin of Hunt, to provide instructions to a steady stream of people who descended upon the neighbourhood from as far away as North Vancouver and the east end of Maple Ridge. 

Suryavanshi and Nanji, who didn’t know each other prior to teaming up to help run the command centre, said they’re driven by Port Moody’s community spirit.

But, added Suryavanshi, she’s been overwhelmed by the support, noting the search has taken on “a life of its own.”

Nanji said, “We didn’t expect this. We have such an amazing community.”

One of the volunteer searchers, Jayden Cummings, said he felt compelled to help because his experience as a scout leader could prove valuable scouring the trails and forested areas around Noons Creek and in nearby Bert Flinn Park.

He was teamed with Brandon Johnson, who said he’d come in from Maple Ridge because “it’s a great feeling if you help a family out.”

Other searchers said they just felt an affinity with the missing woman, as they themselves often go out for walks in their neighbourhoods.

When a volunteer search team is dispatched, their destination is logged on a gridded map posted online. The grid extends all the way from the flanks of Eagle and Cypress mountains to the south shore of Burrard Inlet at Rocky Point Park.

While some of the searchers are prepared to head into the woods, others patrol the sidewalks, keeping an eye out for any sign of Hunt’s passing and logging video surveillance cameras that might have recorded footage of her. Those addresses are then passed on to police for follow-up.

Suryavanshi, who admitted the effort is being helped by the sunny, mild weather, said the team is committed to keep up their efforts for as long as it takes.

“We’re going to keep looking until the family tells us it’s done,” she said. “We’re hoping for good news.”

By Thursday evening, Port Moody police said the community ground search would be put on hold, with the the volunteer command centre wrapping up by evening. 

“The family continues to work with the police and hope that clues to her disappearance will be found,” wrote Sgt. Morrison.

In a message from family shared by Port Moody police, Hunt is described as “a beautiful wife, daughter, sister, auntie, cousin and friend.”

“We continue to hope through the incredible efforts of the Port Moody Police Department that she will be brought home soon,” they wrote.