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Police had widened search for James Evans, 23, and Easha Rayel, 36, until discovery of car hidden in ditch on highway
For two long, devastating weeks, the families of a missing Canadian couple clung to every lead, desperately hoping that the smallest shred of evidence could help explain the sudden disappearance of their loved ones.
James Evans, 23, and Easha Rayel, 36, were last seen travelling together near their home on Vancouver Island on Canadas west coast.
But on Sunday, after weeks of waiting and a series of cold tips, families were told that Evans and Rayel had never left the island. Instead, the couple had died in a car accident along a busy highway, and their vehicle was obscured from view beneath thick overgrowth.
A resident out dog-walking spotted the couples car in a ditch alongside the Pat Bay highway on 24 August, police told the Guardian.
People see the ditch, but they often dont realize how steep it is, said constable Meighan de Pass, a spokesperson for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Based on the evidence located at the scene of the crash, police believe the two bodies are those of Evans and Rayel, but are awaiting the results of post mortem to confirm the identity of the victims, said de Pass.
News that the couple had died along a busy highway, unnoticed for weeks, was a disturbing conclusion to the search, Alastair Evans, James father, told CTV News.
I dont think [the police] are too impressed that they drive by it every day and, you know, it took them two weeks to figure it out, he said.
The discovery of their vehicle also helped explain why the couple suddenly vanished. Reported missing on 9 August, their disappearance was described as out of character in police a news release.
In the subsequent weeks, the search area widened: police confirmed the couple had been spotted near Vernon, British Columbia, more than 500km from their home.
But the grim discovery on Saturday suggests the two never ventured far from home.
They werent going to Vancouver. They werent going to Vernon. They werent going anywhere. They were going back to the house. And who knows? Front tire popped on the car or deer. It happened pretty quick, said Evans. I know that theyve been working together and falling in love and enjoying life. It wasnt meant to happen like this.
Police are still actively investigating the cause of the crash but have ruled out any criminal acts, said de Pass. It definitely was a disappointing end to this.