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Police no closer to finding Whitby, Ont. jogger five days after his disappearance

Members of the Ontario Volunteer Emergency Response Team (OVERT) scour for Jeffrey Boucher in the thick woods in the Taunton Rd. and Brock St. North area on Jan. 15 2014. The search for the missing Whitby, Ont. teacher Boucher began when he failed to return from a morning run early this week.

Fred Lum/Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

A teacher from Whitby, Ont., is still missing five days after he is believed to have gone for an early morning run and police say they are no closer to solving his mysterious disappearance.

Jeffrey Boucher, a 52-year-old father of two, has not been seen since he is assumed to have gone for his usual jog around 6 a.m. on Monday.

Despite finding no trace of Mr. Boucher, Sergeant Nancy van Rooy of Durham Regional Police said, "a large contingent of officers" is investigating the case and appealed for anyone with information to come forward.

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"We remain actively searching ground and air today, Friday. It continues tonight. It continues through the weekend and it will continue through next week," she told reporters.

Sgt. van Rooy's comments on Friday contrasted with ones she made a day earlier, when she said police planned to begin scaling back their search on Thursday evening.

Police have said one possibility is that Mr. Boucher chose to disappear, and Sgt. van Rooy repeated an appeal for him to contact police if that is the case. Investigators have been unable to confirm that he did, in fact, leave his home for a jog early Monday morning.

However, Mr. Boucher's wife told The Globe and Mail on Thursday that she has considered every possibility regarding his disappearance, but believes her husband had an accident somewhere along his run. Kirsten Boucher also said there are no clues that would lead her to suspect her husband would disappear on his own. His personal belongings, including his wallet and his vehicle, remained at their home.

Investigators have not detected any activity relating to Mr. Boucher's e-mail address, bank accounts, health card and passport.

Mr. Boucher, who has been described as athletic and an avid runner, went for an unusually long run on Sunday night that prompted his 17-year-old daughter, Bettina, to send a tweet, which has since been deleted, that said: "My dad went running 3 hours ago and he isn't home yet. Anyone seen a 50 year old man lying on a sidewalk."

Bettina went looking for her father on Sunday night and found him on the roadway jogging toward his home, police say. Ms. Boucher said her daughter may have been upset because Mr. Boucher did not usually stay out past 10 p.m. because it interfered with the family's nightly routine.

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Search teams planned to focus on Whitby's waterfront trails on Friday. They have already searched roadways, parks, a nearby conservation area and commercial areas. Police have said Mr. Boucher would not likely have been able to survive more than 24 hours outdoors in this week's weather conditions.

Mr. Boucher is described as white, six feet tall, 180 pounds with short grey and white hair. Police believe he was wearing black and dark blue Mountain Equipment Co-op running gear when he set out on his presumed run.

With a report from Kaitlyn McGrath

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