OPP underwater unit conducting search north of Chesterville

The OPP Underwater Search and Recovery Unit, north of Chesterville today. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News

CHESTERVILLE — The OPP Underwater Search and Recovery Unit was active today in a secluded area near the intersection of county roads 7 and 3, north of Chesterville.

Officers were nowhere to be seen when Nation Valley News photographed the Underwater Search and Recovery Unit’s camper-style van east of the intersection, in the yard of the old S.S #11 brick schoolhouse, at the mouth of a laneway leading into a wooded, swampy area behind the school. A dark-coloured cargo-style van with tinted windows, attached to a small OPP trailer, also stood at the site, along with a number of other vehicles.

“I believe it’s some kind of evidentiary search,” said Const. Tylor Copeland of the SD&G OPP, who had no further details on the unit’s activity.

The area north of Chesterville has figured in a number of unsolved homicides over the years — two of them in the last decade. No one has been charged in the deaths of Raymond Arnold Collison and Randy Rankin.

Collison, a 58-year-old Chesterville-area man, disappeared in 2009. His skeletal remains turned up almost five years later in a ditch on Thompson Rd., a few kilometres from today’s search site. On the same road in 2007, Randy Rankin — who performed as Kookoo the Clown and Lunchbox Louie — died when shot execution style through his basement window by an unknown killer.

Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News


Just beyond the OPP Underwater Search and Recovery Unit camper van (white vehicle at left) is the beginning of a lane that goes into the wooded area. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News

Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News



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