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

Veteran defensive back returns to Valley Husker house

From the Huskers to the Saskatchewan Huskies and back, Danny Mills returns to the BCFC

One in custody after dramatic Abbotsford vehicle theft ends with rollover in Chilliwack

Prolific offender Michael Joseph Hasell facing numerous charges

Chilliwack hammer thrower finishes second at nationals

Rowan Hamilton’s throw was less than a metre behind the winner at the meet in Ottawa.

City crews rip out landscaping at Chilliwack park over-run with drug use

Homeless man says revamping the park will only put vulnerable people at further risk of overdose

UFV Cascades baseball team holding Falls fundraiser

The Canadian Colleges Baseball Conference team hits the golf course to raise money.

Stolen sunshade puts damper on Lower Mainland woman’s pet-relief effort

Broken umbrella taken from White Rock lawn ‘within 10 minutes’

Wildfires erupt in B.C. Okanagan forcing evacuation orders and a highway closure

Check out a list of up-to-date information on blazes happening within the Kamloops Wildfire Centre.

‘Amazing Race Canada’ competitors face B.C. challenge

They drove Corvettes, mastered falconry basics, and ate blueberry pie in the Cowichan Valley

Teen killed by train remembered for his love

Friends and family share stories of young Crescent Beach train victim

Grizzly bear jumps in river, chases B.C. kayaker

The bear got a bit too close for comfort along the Elaho River near Squamish

Parks Canada looks to shine light on cloudy future for historic sites

A plan is in place to produce 10-year plans designed to turn around sagging attendance figures

Island man convicted of 1999 sex assault at Fraser Valley music festival

James Allen Redden, formerly of Nanaimo, was found guilty of three charges

B.C. poet shines a bright light on struggle with homelessness

Book launch for John La Greca’s Homeless Memorial is at Vernon’s Gallery Vertigo July 21.

Ontario police say attack on Muslim man was motivated by hate

Two men, aged 27 and 19, have been charged with assault in the incident

Most Read