News / Vancouver

Father of missing U.K. tourist Tom Billings pleads for new tips from public

The father of a 22-year-old British tourist believed to have gone missing while hiking in the North Shore mountains two weeks ago made an emotional plea Monday for any new tips, no matter how small, that could help find his son.

Tom Billings, who was an experienced solo world traveller, was last seen around 9 a.m. on Nov. 25. His father, Oxford lawyer Martin Billings, said Tom had recently talked about going hiking and looked up various trails on his computer.

"We think that Tom could be out there somewhere. Hopefully he's holed up somewhere in a warm place and someone has seen him who can pass some information on," said Martin Billings, who travelled to Vancouver to meet face-to-face with detectives.

"...He didn't like spending money, so he would have got a bus, and then walked from wherever the nearest bus could get him to, to a trail."

North Shore Rescue and the military conducted a

North Shore Rescue and the military conducted a "massive" sweep of Grouse Mountain and the Lynn Valley area, he said, after getting a tip from a woman who thought she saw him at Delany's Coffee House on Lynn Valley Road.

Another man reported he might have seen the young hiker wearing a backpack at the top of Grouse Mountain, but that seems unlikely because Tom had left his backpack at the house where he was staying on Broadway near Commercial Drive.

Sgt. Randy Fincham said rescue crews are now looking at expanding their search east along the Baden Powell trail toward Deep Cove, and west toward Lion's Bay.

"At this point no tip is too small for us," he said.

Billings said he would be returning to England Monday night to be with his "very distraught" wife and their two daughters.

"The things that have gone through my mind are, in many ways, too horrible to mention. I can't deny that," he said.

"I think that the most likely thing is that he got into trouble somewhere on a mountain, and from there on, I don't know."

Anyone with information is asked to contact their local police.

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