Authorities are still searching for the missing Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) soldier, Andrew Fitzgerald after several rounds of ground searches have proven unsuccessful.
“At this time we have no idea of his whereabouts, we don’t know his direction of travel, he does not have access to a vehicle we know of, he was on foot,” said Owen Sound Police Service Acting Deputy Chief Vince Wurfel in a statement.
Fitzgerald was first reported missing by family members on August 13 at 10:30 a.m. He was last seen in the area of Petro Canada gas station 16th Street East and 9th Avenue East, Owen Sound at approximately 430a.m. on Saturday, August 13th.
Since he was reported missing, Owen Sound Police say there has been no contact between him and friends and family, and there has been no activity on his social media or his cell phone.
Authorities have also stated that Fitzgerald was last seen on foot with no access to a vehicle.
Owen Sound Police released a picture of Fitzgerald from closed caption video surveillance near the Petro Canada gas station where he was last seen. The CAF member is seen in a burgundy baseball hat with a black peak and a letter ‘C’ in a link chain style. He was wearing a burgundy plaid shirt, white T-shirt, beige khaki pants and black “skateboarding” style shoes.
Over the last few days, authorities have been conducting ground searches, interviewing those who saw him last and reviewing footage to determine his whereabouts.
Since the start of the initial investigation, Owen Sound Police have partnered with the Ontario Provincial Police West Region Emergency Response Team, and the Canadian Armed Forces to expand the search efforts.
It is reported by the National Post that just under 80 unarmed soldiers in military uniform are supporting the search around CFB Meaford.
“On behalf of the Canadian Armed Forces I would like to thank the Owen Sound police, the Ontario Provincial Police, the public and the communities involved in trying to locate our brother in arms,” said LCol. Christian Lillington, commanding officer of the Fourth Canadian Training Centre in Meaford in a statement Tuesday evening.
The O.P.P. Canine Unit, the Underwater Search and Recovery Unit and helicopters are involved in the ground searches to find Fitzgerald. The searches have focused within the City of Owen Sound, thus far.
Police and the CAF believe that Fitzgerald poses no threat to public safety.
“Private Fitzgerald did not have military weapons in his possession and as per our policy, he completed security screening in order to serve in the military. Throughout the course of his employment in the Canadian Armed Force, Private Fitzgerald did not complete an overseas mission,” said Lillington.
Fitzgerald is a native of Nova Scotia and had just completed training at the 4th Canadian Training Centre in Meaford prior to his disappearance.
According to a GoFundMe page setup to help Fitzgerald’s parents fund their expenses while looking for their son, the couple had been visiting Ontario for Fitzgerald’s graduation and were still in Meaford when their son went missing.
To donate to the Fitzgerald family’s search for Andrew Fitzgerald visit their GoFundMe page.
Anyone who has information on the whereabouts of Andrew Fitzgerald is asked to contact city police at 519-376-1234.