Police dial back Penticton couple search efforts

With tips now only trickling in regarding a Penticton couple missing since March, investigators have decided to shut down the phone hotline.

With tips now only trickling in regarding a Penticton couple missing since March, investigators have decided to shut down the phone hotline.

“As of (April 21) we are suspending the assigned tip line, as we are at a point where incoming tips have dropped off,” said Cpl. Dan Moskaluk.

“The lower volume of tips can be easily managed via normal non-emergency police service phone numbers and (police) are accordingly shutting down the tip line.”

Albert and Rita Chretien went missing March 19 after embarking on a car trip from Penticton to Las Vegas, Nevada.

Penticton RCMP Major Crimes Unit have followed up on all tips received to date that dealt with information from Canadian tipsters. RCMP said investigators have not received any new information that has permitted them to place the couple at any other location other then the last known sighting of the couple at a convenience store in Baker City, Oregon.

Police patrols will continue to respond as needed, having already travelled over 5,600 kilometres of roadways and flown 13 hours looking for any signs of the Chretiens. Law enforcement agencies are encouraging those travelling to watch for any sign of the couple or their vehicle. An alert bulletin was created and sent out to law enforcement agencies and other organizations across the western half of the United States. Many of the bulletins have been put up in public locations and businesses in Baker City and neighbouring counties.

Anyone with information related to the Chretiens or their missing vehicle, a two-tone Chevrolet Astro van, can contact the local police or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.