THE family of Canning Vale man Ian Collett have thanked all those involved in the search for him.
Mr Collett, who had dementia, went missing from his Canning Vale home on May 19.
A search for him lasted 17 days and covered about 10,000ha of bush in Perth’s south east.
Mr Collett’s body was found last Thursday morning, in scrub along Albany Highway – a patch of bush that had already been covered by searchers.
Mr Collett’s family expressed their gratitude for the efforts of searchers to bring him home alive as they prepare for his funeral.
“We would like to sincerely thank everyone involved in the search to find Ian,” they wrote.
“The search was extensive and the police, State Emergency Services, friends and community exceeded our expectations.
“The response has been overwhelming and we will always be eternally grateful.
“Our mission was to find Ian, regardless of the outcome. Whilst we hoped for the best, we were prepared for the worst, and now that he’s home we can lay him to rest.
“Our hearts are heavy and we are all grieving in our own way and trying to remain strong for each other.
“We are certain that if Ian was here today and had clarity of mind, he would have been greatly touched and overwhelmed by the extensive effort that was carried out.
“We thank you all for the support and compassion that has been shown to us.
“The outpouring of love has been a great comfort during this ordeal. Our hearts are still trying to accept what our minds already know.
“A special thank you to the Kingston Search Team; Sharon, Erica and Donna, and to Lesley and Sonya from K9 Trackers Perth.
“They are such dedicated and amazing people, who so generously volunteered their time and expertise. Out of this tragedy and sadness many friendships were formed.”
The family asked people who were looking for a way to honour Mr Collett’s memory make a donation to Alzheimer’s WA to help people living with dementia.
“If anyone wishes to make a lasting difference for people living with dementia, a donation can be made through Alzheimer’s WA in Ian’s memory,” they said.
“Please help us to leave a legacy for Ian and prevent a tragedy like this from happening again.”