PRINCETON, BRITISH COLUMBIA — The parents of a young man from Newfoundland and Labrador missing in a remote British Columbia park say remains they believe belong to their son have been found.
Greg and Josie Naterer have kept up a relentless, co-ordinated search for their son, Jordan Naterer, since he went missing on Oct. 12, 2020, while on a solo hike in Manning Provincial Park, about 175 kilometres east of Vancouver.
After a discovery Tuesday by a volunteer searcher, the two said RCMP in Princeton, B.C., went into the park on Wednesday to retrieve the remains.
"They're moving very quick to help us bring closure and to help us bring Jordan home," Josie Naterer said in an interview Wednesday, her voice breaking.
Jordan Naterer, 25, was reported missing after he failed to attend a Thanksgiving dinner party after he left for his hike. The Vancouver Police Department gave up the search after a few weeks, but his parents didn't.
The couple put together a dedicated team of volunteer hikers and searchers who scoured the park throughout the winter whenever they could. Josie Naterer stayed in St. John's and Greg Naterer was on the ground with the volunteer team in British Columbia. They also used drones flying overhead, looking for Jordan.
"I had a team of six women all across Canada, look through the drone footage for clues," Josie Naterer said.
The case reached the prime minister during a virtual town hall with members of Memorial University in late October when a school official told Justin Trudeau that Naterer's father, the dean of Memorial's faculty of engineering, had been imploring Vancouver police to continue the search.
On Tuesday, Princeton RCMP said they had resumed the search for Naterer after what were believed to be his belongings were found July 4 by a volunteer searcher within the vast, mountainous park.
Sgt. Janelle Shoihet, a spokeswoman for the B.C. Mounties, said searchers were back in the park Wednesday in an area where clothing was found the day before. The force would not confirm Jordan Naterer's remains had been located.
On Wednesday evening, Const. Tania Visintin of the Vancouver Police Department said police "are still working with the family, the RCMP and search and rescue to investigate."
The Naterers said several items belonging to Jordan were found, including a backpack. Judging by the location of those items, they said they believe he had walked nearly four kilometres through steep mountain drainage basins after a storm hit and lost his way while hiking the Frosty Mountain Trail.
"It's unbelievable the amount of distance that he travelled to try to survive and get out," Greg Naterer said. "It's the most brutal terrain that one could imagine, like a canyon, and it was a blizzard."
He said the volunteer couldn't believe the ground Jordan had covered.
The Naterers said his backpack was found just 100 metres off the trail in the area the Vancouver Police Department first identified and searched as a priority.
"He was so brave at the end," Josie Naterer said. "He fought so vigorously at the end to get out and to come back to us."
In a Facebook post Wednesday, Josie Naterer said her son was a graduate of the engineering program at Memorial University in St. John's and held a graduate degree in electrical engineering from the University of British Columbia.
"He was a brilliant, young, talented man with an enormous heart," she wrote.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 7, 2021.
The Canadian Press