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Two days in, no sign of missing Bay Street financier

Cottager Don Hayhoe was out using his own sonar to help find missing businessman Brad Griffiths July 20, 2011. Griffiths went missing while boating on Lake Joseph in Muskoka.

Moe Doiron/The Globe and Mail/Moe Doiron/The Globe and Mail

Police continued to scour the northern end of Lake Joseph in search of missing Toronto investment banker Brad Griffiths Wednesday evening.

Mr. Griffiths was last seen two days earlier on the Muskoka lake, about 200 kilometres north of Toronto. A witness saw him in distress in the water just before 1 p.m. Monday, while his motorboat continued to run in circles a few hundred metres from the shore.

His family has hired Shark Marine, a St. Catharines-based underwater technology company, to aid police with the search. OPP divers can go only 100 feet deep, while the area Mr. Griffiths was last seen in is nearly 300 feet deep, said Constable Charles Ostrom, spokesman for the West Parry Sound OPP.

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Lake Joseph's rocky shoreline is dotted with multimillion-dollar cottages, many of which combine dockside boathouses with expansive living quarters.

Mr. Griffiths's cottage, which he purchased with his wife in 2005 for $4.9-million, sits on the shore at the northwestern end of the lake.

As the afternoon sun scorched the lake's surface on Wednesday, and the official search team paused at a nearby marina, Mr. Griffiths's neighbour, Don Hayhoe drove his Boston Whaler slowly around the lake. The cottager used his own sonar equipment to look for additional clues. He said he didn't know the Griffiths family well, but was just trying to help out.

The OPP and Shark team returned to the area shortly before 6 p.m. Wednesday, and gently lowered a bright yellow remote-operated vehicle into the water. The ROV uses both sonar and video to scan the floor of the lake.

Terry Johnson, manager at nearby Hamer Bay Marine, where Mr. Griffiths sometimes stopped for gas, said one of his employees took local firefighters, who were the first to arrive on the scene, out on a boat to the spot Mr. Griffiths went missing on Monday. Emergency crews later found some of his clothes nearby, including his shoes and a glove.

Since then, Mr. Johnson said he was getting most of his information about the search from the local news. "Nobody knows anything here, or at least very little," he said Wednesday.

Mr. Griffiths's name is well known on Bay Street. He co-founded Griffiths McBurney & Partners in 1995, one of the most powerful independent investment banks in Canada. He left the firm in 1999. He had also been head of mergers and acquisitions at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce; vice-president of Gordon Capital Corp.; head of capital markets at Canaccord Capital; and managing director of capital markets at McFarlane Gordon.

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Mr. Griffiths is chief financial officer and chairman of the board of directors at United Hunter Oil and Gas Corp., as well as chairman of Griffiths Energy International.

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About the Authors
Parliamentary reporter

Kim Mackrael has been a reporter for The Globe and Mail since 2011. She joined the Ottawa bureau Sept. 2012. More

Reporter and Streetwise columnist

Tim Kiladze is a business reporter with The Globe and Mail. Before crossing over to journalism, he worked in equity capital markets at National Bank Financial and in fixed-income sales and trading at RBC Dominion Securities. Tim graduated from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism and also earned a Bachelor in Commerce in finance from McGill University. More

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