RCMP suspend search for missing Iqaluit man
Detachment still seeks tips from the public that could help locate Ben Palluq
The Iqaluit RCMP said March 31 they have completed their community-wide search for Benjamin Palluq, but are still asking the public to provide any information that could help locate him.
The 44-year-old homeless Iqaluit man has been missing since the first week of March. Police said they suspended their search with community members after having covered “all areas of Iqaluit,” between March 26 and March 28, said Sgt. Yvonne Niego, a spokesperson for the Iqaluit detachment.
A search effort by a group of residents has continued since March 29, Niego said, without police help.
RCMP coordinated search efforts with community volunteers, in collaboration with Nunavut Search and Rescue, the City of Iqaluit and the Qikiqtani Inuit Association.
The search area extended to “the immediate perimeter” of the city, including nearby cabins on the land, within walking distance, Niego said.
“Because it was such a massive search, we’ve got to review all of the results, all tips, and make sure everything’s been covered off,” the sergeant said at the end of the afternoon, March 31.
Police may resume search efforts “if anything’s been missed,” Niego said.
Efforts on the ground have turned up nothing, she said, adding that police “have had lots of little tips, but nothing significant enough to lead us in any direction.”
Niego said the detachment has also put out a personal call to the missing man, “to emphasize if Ben is able to hear this message, that he need not fear coming forward — we just need to know that he’s okay.”
A family member first reported Palluq missing to police on March 21.
Described as five feet seven inches tall, with a slight build, Palluq is well known to residents for frequenting the downtown area of Iqaluit, where he routinely asked for money and other help from passers-by.
He was known to be on medication to treat epilepsy and possibly other health conditions — which caused added concern among health workers and residents at large.
Police are asking the public to report any leads to the Iqaluit detachment, and Nunavut Crime Stoppers by phone, e-mail or text message. All tips are anonymous.