KAMLOOPS — The community of Cache Creek is mourning the loss of its fire chief Clayton Cassidy, who went missing at 3 a.m. Friday morning and hasn't been seen since. After two days of searching, the search is now a recovery mission.
Pat Schwindt knew Cassidy for over 20 years, meeting at the curling rink and forming a deep friendship. He says Cassidy would do anything for anyone.
"First of all was his family he always looked after, and second it was the community," says Schwindt, who moved to Cache Creek in 1997. "He went overboard, and that's probably what has caused him this problem. He wouldn't go away without looking after people."
Nearly everyone in Cache Creek is doing exactly what Cassidy would have done, doing anything they can to find him with a community of volunteers.
"Everybody continues to search the riverbank, watching the bridges and culverts around town, hoping to bring closure to the family," says mayor of Cache Creek John Ranta. "We know he would be doing that if the shoe was on the other foot."
The entire village of Cache Creek is coming to realize Cassidy is gone, remembering the man who brought so much life to the community.
"Family man. His wife Rose and three boys. He was a volunteer with minor hockey, he was involved in curling, he was a volunteer at the fire department for 32 years," notes Ranta. "Any time anyone needed anything, he was the kind of guy you could count on."
On Sunday, the search officially turned into a recovery mission, and is now in the hands of the RCMP.
"We're still actively searching for him," says Cst. Chris Buckland. "We have several volunteer crews out. We have a swift water rescue crew that was here this morning and another swift water rescue this afternoon."
Cassidy came from a family of eight and has three sons of his own, many grandchildren, who are all mourning his loss along with his wife rose.
Now it's about finding him and providing closure.
"We'll find him," says Schwindt. "It would be closure for everybody, and the family especially. They're going through a lot of problems right now. They're strong, and we'll all make it."
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