BELLEVUE BEACH — Despite the slight mist and sporadic fog patches, the ongoing search for the body of Cortney Lake was in full swing as about 125 searchers combed the area around the former Smallwood Farm property at Bellevue Beach, a little over an hour’s drive west of St. John's. At the end of two days searchers had nothing to show for the massive effort. But police said the search is not over, and they will be back.
The area is just off the Route 201 exit into Bellevue Beach from the Trans-Canada Highway.
Media waited patiently behind the trio of orange cones placed at the entrance to the property a few feet away from the Rovers Ground Search and Rescue check-point truck.
Cameras could be heard clicking and rolling as searchers and several RNC officers riding off-road vehicles crested a hill by an adjacent home on the property. They parked vehicles overlooking the foggy coastline and went into a wooded area with shovels and spades.
The wooded area was by marked by fluorescent ribbons tied to the trees and shrubs.
After some digging with the small spades, a mini investigation was conducted. Then searchers left moments later and returned to their quads and ATVs.
They crossed the dirt road to another grassy area and searched there, marking the area with orange ribbons and moved on to another area beyond range of vision.
They were searching a 13-acre area on the farmland hoping to find the remains of Lake, 24, who disappeared June 7.
She was last seen around 7:30 p.m. that evening getting into a black pickup truck on Michener Avenue in Mount Pearl driven by her ex-boyfriend Philip Smith.
Smith’s body was found early on Nov. 1 in a wooded area behind his father's cabin at Bellevue Beach.
The 25-year-old Smith, who was the only and primary suspect in the disappearance and murder of Lake, committed suicide.
Along with police officers, Ground Search and Rescue searchers from the Central Avalon Holyrood, Rovers, Wolverines, Triple Bay Eagles and Burin Peninsula personnel are conducting the search shoulder to shoulder here at the Smallwood Farm property.
Said Newfoundland & Labrador Search & Rescue Association president Harry Blackmore on Friday, "Hopefully we can bring her home."
This past weekend’s search for Cortney Lake was the eighth since her disappearance and most extensive to date.
The search resulted from new information that the RNC recently received on the investigation RNC Sgt. Didham said, but he was unable to elaborate as it’s still an ongoing active investigation.