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UPDATE: Search for Melissa McDevitt suspended after over a week

(Update: Dec. 19, 2022): After just over a week, the search for missing woman Melissa McDevitt has sadly been suspended.

Today, in consultation with Juan de Fuca Search and Rescue, the RCMP announced the decision to cease search efforts.

"The Sooke RCMP, along with Ms. McDevitt’s family, wish to extend their sincere appreciation to Juan de Fuca Search and Rescue, along with over 17 other assisting Search and Rescue agencies from across Vancouver Island and other parts of British Columbia, for their significant search efforts over the last nine days," said Acting Sooke RCMP Detachment Commander Sgt. Kevin Shaw.

Police are going to continue to investigate the McDevitt’s disappearance, and ask anyone with information to call the Sooke RCMP office at 250-642-5241.

A total of 170 search and rescue members from 17 teams across BC showed up this past weekend to join the search.

Tragically, they were unsuccessful in finding any trace of the 38-year-old woman.

(Update: Dec. 16, 2022): After nearly a week of searching, there has been no sign of Melissa McDevitt.

The 38-year-old was hiking in the Sooke Potholes area, and has not been sighted since. Her vehicle was found in the Charters River/Hatchery parking lot on Sooke River Road on Dec. 10, 2022.

Her vehicle was found in the Charters River/Hatchery parking lot on Sooke River Road on Dec. 10, 2022.

An RCMP spokesperson confirmed that although search efforts have been scaled back recently, that is expected to change.

More search and rescue personnel will arrive in the area to continue the search for Melissa over this weekend.

After she went missing, it was discovered that Melissa was supposed to travel from Victoria to Vancouver and board a flight, but never arrived at the ferry terminal or the airport.

McDevitt was last seen wearing a burgundy-coloured long sleeved top, blue pants, and carrying two hiking poles.

She has a very small build and her family describe her feet as “children’s sized.” She lives with alopecia and may be wearing a wig or have short, dyed, rainbow-coloured hair.

Police say Melissa is neuro-divergent and may appear to show signs of cognitive delay.

(Update: Dec. 13, 2022): The Sooke RCMP has shared footage of missing woman Melissa McDevitt entering a trail at the Sooke Potholes.

McDevitt was wearing a burgundy coloured long sleeved top, blue pants, and carrying two hiking poles.

According to the RCMP, who have taken over the investigation, her vehicle was found at the Charters River/Hatchery parking lot on Sooke River Road on Dec. 10, 2022.

A ground search was initiated immediately, led by Juan de Fuca Search and Rescue and supplemented by the Sooke RCMP, RCMP Air Services and Police Dog Services.

(Original story: Dec. 12, 2022):

The search continues today for a young woman who went missing recently on Vancouver Island.

Melissa McDevitt, age 38, is described as a Caucasian woman standing five feet tall and slim, weighing 105 lbs.

<who>VicPD/Contributed

She has a very small build and her family describe her feet as “children’s sized.” She lives with alopecia and may be wearing a wig or have short, dyed, rainbow-coloured hair.

Police say Melissa is neuro-divergent and may appear to show signs of cognitive delay.

She drives a 2015 grey Subaru Forester with a North Carolina plate. She loves to hike near the Sooke Potholes area, as well as neighboring trails such as John Stick Peak, Malcolm, The Donald, Mike Hill, the Three Amigos, and Tony’s Triumph.

<who>VicPD/Contributed

Her vehicle was located in the area of the Sooke Pot Holes earlier on Saturday.

Juan de Fuca Search and Rescue were in the area to search for her over the weekend. Melissa’s family last spoke to her on Thursday evening.

She was supposed to travel from Victoria to Vancouver and board a flight today, but did not arrive.

<who>VicPD/Contributed

“This is extremely out of the ordinary for Melissa and her family and officers have significant concerns for her well-being,” said police.

Police are wanting to speak to anyone who may have seen Melissa’s vehicle prior to Saturday.

“VicPD officers are coordinating with Sooke RCMP, Juan de Fuca Search and Rescue, as well as local, provincial, national and international partner agencies as we search for Melissa. The circumstances under which she has gone missing are considered very high-risk,” said the VicPD.

Investigators are asking anyone who saw Melissa or her vehicle from Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022 to Dec. 10, 2022, to come forward.

If you see Melissa McDevitt, stay with her and call 911 immediately.

If you saw Melissa or her vehicle in the last few days, or have information about where she may be, please call (250) 995-7654 extension 1.



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