Ben Kilmer’s family has confirmed on their Facebook page “Find Ben Kilmer” that his body was found on Oct. 17 in a remote area of Duncan.
“We are heartbroken to confirm that our beloved Ben Kilmer was found on October 17, 2018, in a remote are of Duncan, British Columbia,” the statement reads. “Ben is not coming home to us as we had hoped. His death s a shock to all who knew him, and a devastating outcome to a vast and difficult search.”
The 41-year-old father of two was first reported missing on May 16, and his disappearance spurred an Island-wide search.
North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP also confirmed the news in a release Wednesday morning, stating the remains of Kilmer were found by a hiker, well outside of the original search area.
Authorities have ruled out foul play and say no more details are being released at this time.
|A screenshot of the statement put forward by Ben Kilmer’s family (Facebook/Find Ben Kilmer)|
His work van was originally found alongside Lake Cowichan Road with its driver-side door open and the engine running, with some blood found in the vehicle.
Dozens of search parties, including members of the Cowichan, Ladysmith, Juan de Fuca, Nanaimo, Salt Spring island and Saanich Peninsula SAR groups combed the area for a week but Kilmer was never found.
Kilmer’s wife, Tonya Kilmer, also released a statement. She said the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP came to her door at 9 p.m. on Oct 17, and that she had been hopeful to see them after there had been possible sightings of Kilmer in downtown Victoria. They instead told her that Kilmer’s body had been found at 2 p.m. that day by a someone traveling through a remote area of the Cowichan Valley, near the Chemainus River.
“Now the hardest part comes, with the need for the strongest resilience I will certainly ever know; more waiting, more patience,” Tonya Kilmer wrote. “But 50 years for forever with you is worth the wait. I will be with you again and your children will grow up knowing their daddy as the strong, fierce, tenacious, loving family man that you are.”
Family spokeswoman Shannon Wiest added that there is an education fund being established for the two Kilmer children. Those who would like to do something for the family can donate at www.gofundme.com/kilmer-children-education-fund.
“Also, we cannot emphasize enough how much support surrounded us at every step of this harrowing journey. This is a great comfort to the family as they grieve, knowing that everything that could be done was done, and with great love,” Wiest said.
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