A group of Michael Guzetas’ friends have rallied together to spare no expense in their search effort after he went missing on January 31st.
The 51-year-old Courtenay man was last seen leaving his residence at approximately 8:30 a.m. on Friday and is believed to have been travelling in his red Ford Ranger with the BC licence plate HX4109.
After days of no word from Guzetas, affectionately called ‘Gaz’ by his friends, his friend Sue Biely set up a GoFundMe with the goal of raising money to hire a helicopter to aid in their search.
“Michael, or ‘Gaz’, often goes into natural areas and may have headed to the back roads around [Courtenay], Comox Lake, or Strathcona Park,” writes Biely.
“Due to the lack of specifics on where he could be, the goal is to find his truck so a search and rescue area can be designated.”
According to the post, it costs $1,800 to hire the helicopter for an hour and an additional $350 per hour for fuel.
As of the time of publication, the fundraiser – which initially aimed to raise $15,000 – has garnered a whopping $33,650.
An update posted on Monday states that search teams scoured areas of interest in and around Comox Valley and the Buttle Lake area of Strathcona park, and along the coast from the Nanaimo ferry terminal to Courtenay.
The helicopter search, equipped with a pilot, expert navigator, and a go-pro with a 4K camera, has been ongoing since Sunday but to no avail.
“Michael knew the back roads and logging roads of this province intimately so he could be anywhere. The biggest clue we are looking for is his truck,” writes Biely.
There has been no word on sightings of Guzetas yet as search and rescue teams continue to scour the wilderness.
His friends continue their appeal for donations, as more funds means they can keep the helicopter in the air for longer, as well as have enough money to provide food for volunteers.
“Gaz is a beautiful teddy bear of a man who has been a generous friend and fan of many his whole life. We need to find that fella!”
Anyone who sees Guzetas or knows where he is should contact Comox Valley RCMP at (250) 338-1321.
If you wish to remain anonymous, contact Comox Valley Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or online at comoxvalleycrimestoppers.bc.ca.