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Ground search for missing North Kentville man called off – for now


Valley Search and Rescue volunteers work along the shore of the Cornwallis River in Kentville Thursday diuring the fourth day of a search for a missing North Kentville man. Joshawa Bentley, 29, hasn't been seen since Saturday night. - Ian Fairclough
Valley Search and Rescue volunteers work along the shore of the Cornwallis River in Kentville during the fourth day of a search for a missing North Kentville man. Joshawa Bentley, 29, hasn't been seen since March 23. - Ian Fairclough
KENTVILLE, N.S. —

The search for a North Kentville resident last seen March 23 has been called off.

Kentville Police Service deputy chief Darryl Brown has confirmed the extensive search and rescue operation for Joshawa Bentley, 29, was called off March 31.

Bentley was reportedly last seen leaving the Kings Arms Pub in Kentville. Ten agencies, including Valley Search and Rescue, Kentville Police, RCMP K9 services and a Canadian Forces diving unit, aid in the search. Crews spanned land, water and even the air via a Department of Lands and Forestry helicopter.

Sonar was also used, but Brown could not confirm when or where.

“The crews completed a very thorough search of the area. At this point, they have covered everything they could possibly cover,” said Brown.

Joshawa Bentley. - Contributed
Joshawa Bentley. - Contributed

The matter is still being treated as an active missing person case, and the case file will remain open until Bentley is found.

Search and rescue organizations only perform searches under the direction of police, and have also called off their search efforts.

“We’re still following up on any new leads that come through and are worthy of investigation. We are doing this as best we can, and being as thorough as possible – you never know when you’re going to get another call,” said Brown.

Valley Search and Rescue search director Stephen Cue said the search was an “exhaustive” one carried out through the ongoing cooperation of agencies combing areas from Kentville through to Port Williams.

“[The search] consisted of difficult terrain in and around waterways, as well as challenges related to working in town in and amongst traffic…and a large search area, given the length of time he was missing from,” said Cue.

The search and rescue operation began after North Kentville resident Joshawa Bentley, 29, was reported missing March 25.
The search and rescue operation began after North Kentville resident Joshawa Bentley, 29, was reported missing March 25.

Bentley is white, with a reddish-brown full beard and hair. He is six-foot-one and weighs 120 pounds, and has three tattoos: one on his right forearm that reads, “sometimes you have to go through hell to get to Heaven,” one of a handprint on his chest, and one of the Browning logo on the back of his right shoulder.

Police released a photo of Bentley from the night at the pub, showing him wearing a red and black checked flannel shirt with a black printed shirt underneath, and jeans.

A full list of the agencies involved in the operation, as provided by VSAR:

  • Kentville Police Services
  • Valley Search and Rescue
  • West Hants Ground Search and Rescue
  • Annapolis County Ground Search and Rescue
  • Nova Scotia Department of Lands and Foresty Helicopter
  • Kentville Fire and New Minas fire department water rescue
  • New Minas fire provided logistics support
  • CASARA (Civil Air Search and Rescue) Spotters
  • Nova Scotia Public Safety Field Communications
  • RCMP K9 services
  • Canadian Armed Forces Fleet Diving Unit

Sara.Ericsson@kingscountynews.ca


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