BAKER CITY, Ore. - The family of a Canadian couple last seen March 19 buying gas in Baker City en route to Las Vegas thanked the people and police of the town and Eastern Oregon for treating the missing couple "like they were part of the Baker City family."
Albert and Rita Chretien were reported missing March 31 when they failed to return home to British Columbia from the business trip. Investigators used cell phone and credit card records to track them to Baker City as of March 19. The trail goes cold after that.
"We have been blessed to know that the last place Albert and Rita was seen was Baker City - we feel like Al & Rita have been embraced just like they were part of the Baker City family," said Raymond and Jennifer Chretien. "Since March 31, friends and family have witnessed an around the clock effort to find them. We want to thank all the citizens of Oregon who have been praying, searching and providing tips to the authorities. It has moved us to tears at times with how willing people have been to stop their own lives to help out."
As the search enters its second week, efforts throughout Oregon have scaled back, Oregon State Police said. However, state, county and city police patrols throughout Eastern and Southeastern Oregon will continue to watch for any signs of the couple and their vehicle.
Police, search and rescue crews and airplanes have searched 3,500 miles of state highways and county roads. Malheur County crews in an airplane covered 1,000 miles in 13 hours over two days.
Weather conditions on Saturday improved allowing for an aerial search in Baker County. An Oregon State Police (OSP) airplane flew Highway 86, the Hells Canyon corridor, the lower portion of Burnt River Canyon, Highway 245 over Dooley Mountain and areas around Highway 7.
Law Enforcement is requesting that any anyone with information related to the Chretiens or their missing vehicle to contact the toll free US/Canada Tip Line at 1-877-987-8477.