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Search party organized for missing Dawson Creek teen

Participants in the citizen-led search will congregate for a safety meeting Saturday at the Kiskatinaw River Bridge pull out at 11 a.m. before splintering off into teams.

More than 45 days after 15-year-old Denny Poole went missing from Dawson Creek, organizers have arranged for the first citizen search party this April 30 at 11 a.m.

RCMP and local Search and Rescue have been combing the area near the Kiskatinaw River Bridge since Poole went missing March 12, after he and a friend got lost trying to find a short cut on backroads while walking to Fort St. John to meet a girl. 

Participants in the citizen-led search will congregate for a safety meeting at the bridge pull-out before breaking off into teams.

"Everybody has been pushing us, saying 'get out there and search,'" Sharla Bruun, a spokesperson for the family told the Dawson Creek Mirror on Friday. 

The family decided to let the professionals take the first crack at finding Poole.

"We did not want to go out until they were completely finished," Bruun said. "We had to wait for the RCMP so that we didn't taint any (evidence). We didn't want to screw up (anything), not everybody is real careful." 

Initially, organizers of the search party expected about 20 people to take part. As of April 29, it looked as though as many as 60 could join in. 

Donations of equipment, including radios, food and water have also flowed into the search effort.

"Now that we're going out, the community support is overwhelming," Bruun said. "It makes me emotional. It's all come out of the woodwork."

Bruun says the family is in relatively good spirits.

"They have good days," she says. "The older sister (Alisha) its really affected by it. The two younger girls, I think they're still in a bit of denial."

The family is no stranger to heartache.

Poole's mother, Tammy, briefly went missing last week before being located by police.

His grandmother Jenny, has been down this road before. She's lost four of her own children over the course of the last 30 years. Two of her boys drowned, one girl went missing while living in Vancouver and another succumbed to health issues, Bruun says. 

"She doesn't even know how to talk about it," she said. 

Anyone who is interested in taking part in the search can meet at the Kiskatinaw River Bridge pullout Saturday morning. To contact organizers in advance, phone the Dawson Creek Aboriginal Family Resources Society at 250-782-1169.

Organizers are looking for more donations of water, food, whistles (for communication) and safety vests. They can be dropped off at #14 1405 102 Avenue.