(Sooke RCMP)

A renewed search for a hiker who went missing just over six months ago has been called off. 

Over the weekend, Juan de Fuca Search and Rescue set out into the Charters River and Sooke Potholes areas once again to try and locate Melissa McDevitt, the missing 38-year-old hiker who disappeared into the bush last December. 

On Saturday, December 10th, McDevitt’s vehicle was found in Sooke at the Charters River/Hatchery parking lot on Sooke Road.

Immediately after finding McDevitt’s vehicle, the Juan De Fuca Search and Rescue began a ground search in the surrounding area. Sooke RCMP, RCMP Air Services and Police Dog Services aided in the search. 

On Sunday, December 11th, CCTV footage showed McDevitt entering the trails from the parking lot where her car was found. The video shows McDevitt is wearing a burgundy coloured long sleeved top, blue pants, and carrying what appears to be two hiking poles.

There was no video evidence showing her leaving the park. 

Last week, Sooke RCMP received new information on McDevitt’s last known whereabouts which prompted the renewed effort in trying to locate her. 

Approximately 80 searchers from 11 agencies were all out looking in the concentrated area she was thought to be last, but despite their best efforts, no luck was had by the search and rescue personnel. 

Once again, the search for McDevitt has been officially suspended, according to Sooke RCMP.  

“We would like to acknowledge the significant efforts of Juan de Fuca Search and Rescue and all other assisting [Search and Rescue] agencies during this search period, particularly through challenging terrain during very warm weekend weather,” said Sergeant Kevin Shaw or Sooke RCMP.

“The RCMP will continue to investigate Melissa’s disappearance in pursuit of answers for the McDevitt family.”

Anyone with information about Melissa McDevitt’s disappearance should call Sooke RCMP at (250) 642-5241.

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