Man jumps into Kootenay River to escape RCMP; still at large

Jason Baker considered missing person; Cranbrook RCMP actively looking

  • Sep. 12, 2013 6:00 a.m.

A 40-year-old man is missing after he jumped into the Kootenay River in Wardner to escape from police on Wednesday afternoon.

Cranbrook RCMP’s drug task force found two men in possession of a large amount of cocaine on Wednesday, September 11, next to the Fort Steele Wardner Road, close to Highway 3.

The RCMP arrested one man, but the other ran away and jumped into the Kootenay River, according to an RCMP statement.

“Additional officers were immediately dispatched from the Cranbrook area, and Cranbrook and Kimberley Search and Rescue were activated and searched the river, assisted by the RCMP helicopter and a police service dog team,” said Cpl. Dan Moskaluk, media relations for the RCMP’s Southeast Division.

The man, identified as 40-year-old Jason Baker, has not been seen since and is considered a missing person.

“The Cranbrook RCMP are actively looking for him, to ensure his safety, and are seeking a warrant for his arrest,” said Cpl. Moskaluk.

The other man police arrested at the scene, Calgary resident Jared Strecheniuk, 35, appeared in Cranbrook Provincial Court facing one charge of possession of a controlled substance for the purposes of trafficking and will appear again on Monday, September 16.

If you have any information about Baker’s whereabouts or another aspect of this incident, please contact Cranbrook RCMP at 250-489-3471 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).