Ryan Shutka
© Wikimedia Commons and B.C. RCMP
Ryan Shutka
As the snow continues to melt at Sun Peaks, search efforts are ramping back up in hopes of finding Ryan Shtuka.

The 21-year-old man went missing on Feb. 17, after leaving a house party in the Burfield Drive area, a short distance away from his home. He hasn't been seen since, despite countless efforts from volunteers who have scoured Sun Peaks over the past 12 weeks.

Kamloops Search and Rescue manager Alan Hobler says nearly 20 crew members went to Sun Peaks this weekend to help search for Shtuka, along with 40 to 50 volunteers who came in from Alberta.

Hobler says depending on where you are in Sun Peaks, much of the snow has started to melt, but north-facing slopes still have quite a bit. He adds that searchers were able to scour areas that had less snow, going over every inch to see if anything has been missed.

Within the next few weeks, Hobler says, searchers will be heading back up to search.

"I think what we really want to avoid is going out too early and not having an effective search," Hobler says. "Now that the snow's gone there's all kinds of stuff coming up."

He adds there's a window between snow melt and plants greening up that searchers want to hit to have the most effective search.

Hobler says the search team has seen a few cases like this where little to no evidence or trace of a person has come up, and it can be frustrating for people trying to locate the missing person. He adds that the Shtuka family has done an incredible job of searching on their own over the past few months.

"They've been very diligent and they've been doing very tight searches, so they're doing a very good job out there," Hobler says. "I really tip my hat to them, I tip my hat to the hundreds and hundreds of volunteers that have come out."

Hobler says between $500 and $1,000 has been donated to Kamloops Search and Rescue for their search efforts.