May 3, 2010

11/04/07: John Kahler, 29, Mission, BC, Canada

John Kahler, 29, a resident of Langley, British Columbia, disappeared on Nov. 4, 2007 while attending the King of the Pit 4×4 truck festival on the mud flats of Stave Lake near Mission, B.C. with two friends. The festival drew a crowd of more than 1,000 people.
Kahler was last seen around 4 a.m. having a drink around the campfire. His white Ford F150 pick-up truck was then found at 6:30 a.m. by one of his friends who left early. It was stuck in a ditch about 200 meters from the campsite. The engine was still running, the doors were opening, the radio was on, and the wipers were on. There was no sign of John Kahler.

According to
"Kahler was camping in an area about 15 km up Burma Road, where approximately 300 outdoor enthusiasts from across the Lower Mainland had gathered for a weekend party. Kahler, who police say is not an experienced outdoor enthusiast, and possessed little camping and outdoor skills, had gone up to the area with two of his friends and he did not know anyone else in the group. Kahler and his friends went up in separate vehicles.

'His friend didn't think much about it and left,' said Ritchie.

The other friend Kahler was with pulled the truck out and drove it down around mid-afternoon. He looked around for Kahler, but couldn't find him.

At this point, nobody was worried, said Ritchie, noting his friends assumed Kahler had spent the night at one of the other campsites, or had found a ride down with someone else.

Kahler's friend called his family and his girlfriend, asking if they had heard from him. It was around 9 p.m. when Kahler's parents notified RCMP and went to the area to search for him.

Since it was dark, and most people were leaving the camp site, they only searched for a short time, said Ritchie.

Kahler's friends and family didn't start panicking until the next morning when Kahler didn't show up for work in Whistler, where he was building ski jumps for the 2010 Olympics."
Search and Recovery
A police boat, K9 unit, helicopter and about 70 search and rescue volunteers later scoured the area, but didn't turn up any signs of the missing man. It wasn't until Tuesday, October 21, 2008, when his body was found by a kayaker floating in Stave Lake.

The Langley Times reported that during a press conference the following day, Kahler's parents Jane and Randy and his sister Lori thanked all the people who participated in the search. His sister, Lori, said, '"We're so grateful to everyone who searched, to the RCMP, and to the kayaker who found him. These last couple of days have been as intense as when he first went missing," she continued, "but now the healing process can start."'

His mother said, "We love John and we're happy to have him back. I don't know how to say this, but we're lucky. You just can't imagine what it's like when you have no idea what happened."

About John Kahler
During the press conference, the family described John Kahler, an iron worker, as an "amazing person" and "a hard worker." His sister, Lori, said, "He was the best brother I could imagine having," Lori said. "He lived life. At his age he had done more than most 50-year-olds."
Quick facts:
Name/age: John Kahler, 29
Residence: Langley, British Columbia, Canada
Last seen: 11/4/07, Stave Lake near Mission, British Columbia, Canada
Recovered: 11/21/08, Stave Lake near Mission, British Columbia, Canada
Physical Description: 6'2" tall, 100-105 kg., blonde hair, blue eyes. Last seen wearing a pair of new work boots. He was not dressed for long term exposure to the cold elements, say police.

Anyone with additional information about John Kahler should call Mission RCMP at 604-826-7161.

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