This past week Whistler Blackcomb Ski Patrol members joined the search for missing Whistler DJ Mike Grefner, using their avalanche skills to help search the snowbanks along the highway near the Rainbow subdivision. The previous week's search turned up a pair of shoes, roughly 60 metres apart, that could have fit Grefner — although the RCMP has not been able to determine whether the shoes resemble any owned by the 34-year-old.
The RCMP used avalanche probes and police dogs to search the shoulder of the road where the shoes were found, but came up empty so this week they called patrollers who used Recco avalanche devices to search the snow. The devices are usually used with other avalanche transceivers, but they can detect items like diodes on cell phones as well. However, nothing turned up. The RCMP said no new tips on Grefner's whereabouts have come up in the last week.
Grefner was last heard from around 5 a.m. on the morning of Jan. 17. He failed to turn up for a DJ shift at Maxx Fish on Jan. 18, which was out of character. Around 2 a.m. on Jan. 19 his friends called the RCMP.
Grefner's friends and family are continuing to search for him, and some friends believe that he may have left town. However, he has not used his cell phone or accessed his bank account since he went missing. He did not own a passport.
Crown not pressing charges in Reinecke death
Crown prosecutors are not pressing charges against the driver in the death of Australian Eleanor Reinecke, who was hit and killed while walking on the shoulder of Highway 99 in the early morning hours of Jan. 6, 2010.
Prosecutors say there is not enough evidence in the case to secure a likelihood of conviction. The RCMP recommended a charge of Driving Without Reasonable Consideration to the Crown back in November, but it was rejected before the statute of limitations for charges ran out on Jan. 5. Instead, the driver of the taxi that struck and killed Reinecke — in Whistler for the season with her boyfriend — was issued a speeding ticket for driving at roughly 70km/h in a 60km/h zone.
Reinecke was heading north along the highway just north of Lorimer at 3 a.m. She was walking the direction of traffic and was wearing dark clothing. Some snow had fallen earlier, turning to rain and slush at the time of the accident.
The driver did see her, and according to earlier police reports he attempted to swerve away from Reinecke — then swerved back in her direction to avoid an oncoming vehicle.
Forensic team kept busy
The Whistler RCMP kept a forensics team from North Vancouver busy last week after a series of break and enters.
On Feb. 10 at 8:40 a.m. the RCMP received a call from a restaurant in Creekside after a thief used a brick to smash a window and gain access. The thief took the cash register from the bar area and there were signs that the safe was tampered with although it wasn't opened. The theft happened between midnight and 8 a.m.
On Feb. 10 at 9:15 a.m. the RCMP received a call from the 4300 block of Main Street after a break-in to a hotel property. The thief broke the knob off the door to the office behind the reception desk to gain entry and took a plastic box containing a small amount of cash.
At 8:38 p.m. on Feb. 10 the Pemberton RCMP received a call regarding a suspicious vehicle left abandoned at Kilometre 9 along the in'SHUCK'ch Forest Service Road. The RCMP attended and discovered a panel van that had been reported stolen in Surrey. The RCMP had the vehicle towed back to Whistler, where it will be fingerprinted.