THUNDER BAY – Both city and provincial police continue to search for missing person Edward (Eddie) Tremblay, but are scaling back their efforts after failing to find the 35-year-old man in the 11 days since he was reported missing.
Tremblay has been missing since July 7, when he last communicated with family on his cellphone at 3 a.m. and was believed to be in the 1300 block of Hilldale Road after being last seen one hour earlier.
OPP Const. Diana Cole described the current effort as a limited continuous search.
“The search has been scaled back somewhat. We have exhausted all of our search efforts from the beginning of this search until now,” Cole said on Thursday.
“It’s been quite a length of time. We will continue to search as time permits. OPP air service will fly over the area as time allows them to do so. Our officers will also be attending the area as time permits.”
Search efforts included 16 OPP North West Region emergency response team officers and other police resources including canine units, along with assistance from Lakehead Search and Rescue. The searchers have covered a combined total of 2,000 kilometres.
Police confirmed that Tremblay’s hat and keys were located near the end of Hilldale Road.
Tremblay's brother, Robert Tremblay told Dougall Media on Friday that police canvased a 2.3-kilometre radius surrounding the location of Tremblay's hat and keys.
“At this point, we’re still hopeful we will find Mr. Tremblay alive. It’s quite possible,” Cole said. “There are many outbuildings in the area and properties we’re hoping he might have taken refuge in. We’re still hopeful we will find him.”
The case has become a joint operation between the Thunder Bay Police Service and OPP, with city police handling the investigation into Tremblay’s disappearance while provincial police lead search efforts.
Thunder Bay Police Service Det. Sgt. Tracy Lewis said both police services continue to ask for public assistance, particularly for people to search any outbuildings on their property.
“We have no indication of foul play at this point. He is still determined as a missing person,” Lewis said.
“We still need information. I don’t want anyone to feel that this investigation is done. It’s not. Any information from the public would be really helpful for us.”
Lewis said police haven’t received any communication indicating reasons to suggest that Tremblay could be hiding.
In regards to the scaling back of the operation, Robert Tremblay said "it's kind of sad, but it's also understandable."
Tremblay is described as a Caucasian man, standing five-foot-11, weighing about 230 pounds with curly brown hair, a dark brown full beard with a mustache and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a grey sweater with a zipper up the middle, a green t-shirt with a Toronto Blue Jays emblem, black shoes with light blue stitching and faded light blue jeans.
Cole said police are committed to continuing search efforts until Tremblay is found.
“In the fall, we will continue the search when foliage falls and might be a little easier to see through that terrain. The terrain is very dense and thick in that area, that’s why it’s such a lengthy search and difficult to search through,” Cole said.
“In the spring, we will continue the search if Mr. Tremblay is not located by that time. We will conduct a full search once the snow has melted and the terrain and the foliage has not yet come about.”
Robert Tremblay is urging the public to look for any pieces of evidence that would help locate Eddie to bring the family closure.
"Sad as it is to say, I'd like people to look for a flock of birds because he might turn up somewhere...and also if you find ripped clothing, preferably the (clothes) he was wearing."