All avenues of investigation exhausted
RCMP divers prepare to go out in a boat Thursday to continue a search for a missing Port au Port Peninsula duck hunter. — TC Media file photo
After searching all week for missing duck hunter Richard Duffney on the province’s west coast, Bay St. George District RCMP this afternoon called off the recovery operation saying all avenues of investigation have been exhausted.
Duffney, 50, left his home to go duck hunting Monday morning in West Bay, part of the larger Port au Port Bay. He was reported missing later that day when he didn't return at a designated time. Land, water, underwater and air searches were carried out throughout the week.
The hunter's snowmobile was found on West Bay beach Monday, and searchers located where he climbed a hill. At that site searchers found spent shotgun cartridges they believe he fired from an area atop the hill next to a fish shed. From that location, there were tracks leading to the beach.
Duffney’s brother said he couldn’t understand why none of his possessions were located, including his rifle, or even one of the mittens he was wearing.
The search was called off at 4 p.m. The investigation, however, will remain open and all future information received will be assessed and acted upon accordingly.
The RCMP thanked the following for their assistance: Stephenville/Kippens/Port au Port Peninsula Search and Rescue Team; Barachois Brook Search and Rescue Team; Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre; Gander 103 Squadron; Government of NL Fire and Emergency Services.