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Search efforts ramping up to locate missing Windsor man Tim Wells

Tim Wells enjoyed fishing, as is evident by this photo taken in the summer of 2017. He did not have a fishing pole or tackle box with him when he was last seen heading out towards Vaughan, so his family doesn't believe that's where he was headed.
Tim Wells enjoyed being outdoors and fishing, as is evident by this photo taken in the summer of 2017. He was last seen riding his bicycle on May 12, 2018. - Contributed

Family hoping to find closure

WINDSOR, N.S. —

Her eyes well with tears as she describes the renewed search efforts and the family’s hope of finding Tim Wells.

It’s been nearly 11 months since he was reported missing.

“We’re hoping that we can find Timmy and we can find closure and we can bring him home and lay him to rest where he belongs,” said Vivian Wells.

“We know it’s recovery. We’ve come to terms with that,” she said, grief-stricken.

When Tim Wells was reported missing, his last known whereabouts was thought to be near Card Lake — some 34 kilometres outside of town. But new evidence has surfaced this year, indicating he was in the Nesbitt Street area of Windsor at noon on May 12, 2018 — the day of his disappearance.

Vivian Wells looked at a photo of her brother, Tim Wells, who has been missing since May 2018. She's still grappling with his disappearance as the siblings were quite close. - SALTWIRE FILE PHOTO
Vivian Wells looked at a photo of her brother, Tim Wells, who has been missing since May 2018. She's still grappling with his disappearance as the siblings were quite close. - SALTWIRE FILE PHOTO

Staff Sgt. Cory Bushell said there’s been an active investigation underway since he disappeared. While the initial investigation led them to believe Tim Wells was travelling along Chester Road the day he went missing, largely due to “incidental sightings,” based on new information, they’ve revised that working theory.

“Very recently, we received new information from a source, which had not come to the police previously, and that is a person who knew Tim very well, and observed him on the day that he went missing — May 12 — around 8 a.m. travelling in the Falmouth area, which is consistent with his daily habits and visiting his mother (at the Windsor Elms Village),” said Bushell.

Another person who knew Wells recalled seeing him on Nesbitt Street around noon that day.

Bushell said both sources were “heavily scrutinized” and the police are confident that the new information are confirmed sightings.

“We’ve gone back over all of our sources and done a scrub of the individuals that we spoke with and now we’re of the opinion that a last known point for Tim Wells was in the Falmouth-Windsor area,” said Bushell.

When Tim Wells was reported missing, he was 56 years old, required medication to treat diabetes and a mental illness, and was living at the Victoria Park Guest House on King Street in Windsor.

Since the RCMP did not have a concrete last known location, a search and rescue team was not called in to assist. The RCMP did, however, use a police dog, set up checkpoints along Highway 14 asking motorists if they’d seen Tim Wells, and handed out missing posters. The ditches along Chester Road were searched, and a helicopter patrol was conducted in and around Card Lake.

Now that the RCMP have more credible last known sightings, efforts are ramping up to locate him.

On March 21, two RCMP officers, on ATVs, patrolled the area of Nesbitt Street looking for clues, and went door-to-door speaking with the residents.

On March 27, an aerial search was conducted of the Falmouth and Nesbitt Street areas. RCMP also reassessed the Chester Road area.

“We weren’t able to find anything conclusive during those searches,” said Bushell.

On the weekend of April 13-14, an organized search effort between the RCMP and West Hants Ground Search and Rescue will get underway to find the missing Windsor man.

“That search is going to concentrate in the area of Falmouth as well as a portion of Windsor, primarily around the Nesbitt Street area,” said Bushell.

“Our local citizens will see approximately 70 individuals, ground search and rescue personnel, that will be moving through wooded areas, open fields, perhaps backyards, in search of any clues to the disappearance of Tim.”

Bushell said the searchers are well trained and will be easily identifiable.

“Residents should probably be aware that abandoned outbuildings or other structures will be of interest to the searchers so if there’s an outbuilding on your property that looks accessible and open, searchers may poke their head in just to make sure that Tim is not in there,” he said.

The purple mountain bike that Tim Wells frequently used and his bright orange helmet still have not been found.

SEEKING CLOSURE

Wells says she’s grateful for the outpouring of community support the family has received since her brother went missing, and hopes the latest search efforts will result in closure for the family.

“I hope with God’s help that they find something,” she said.

“From the bottom of my heart, I’m so thankful for them giving up their time — their weekend — to do what they’re doing. I can never thank them enough; we can never thank them enough.”

Earlier this year, she organized a Facebook page dedicated to bringing Tim Wells home. Citizens were planning to band together to start searching for him once the snow melted. Now that an official search is underway, those plans have been put on hold.

Wells is still grappling with how her brother could have went missing. It’s the not knowing that haunts her.

“A lot of thoughts have been going through my head. I just get kind of anxious as to what comes next. What if they don’t find him? What do we do from here? Do I spend another summer like last summer?” said Wells.

“What happens if we never find him?”

Bushell said the RCMP remains hopeful they will be able to provide the family with answers.

“We’re hoping we can bring some closure to the family and find Tim Wells. That’s our hope,” said Bushell.

CAN YOU HELP?

The Windsor RCMP is imploring people to come forward with any information that may relate to Tim Wells’ disappearance.

Staff Sgt. Cory Bushell said no tip is too small.

“This latest information came from a source that had this information as far back as May. That information was actually even articulated, as I understand it, on Facebook but it just never got to police,” he said.

“So please, if anyone has information, if they believe they know something that the police would be interested in hearing, come to us and talk to us about that.”

To relay information about this case, call the Windsor RCMP at 902-798-2207 or, to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

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