Tue, August 10, 2004

Search on for lawyer
Left Lake Simcoe marina on Sea-Doo for island home Sunday evening

YORK REGIONAL Police are looking for clues in the mysterious disappearance of a Toronto-area lawyer off the southern shore of Georgina Island in Lake Simcoe. Gary Corbiere, 41, was last seen 6 p.m. Sunday when he left the Virginia Beach Marina, apparently on his way to a summer home on the Georgina Island native reserve.

Mainland cottagers found Corbiere's fiberglass Sea-Doo floating empty between the mainland and Georgina Island later that night.

Corbiere, whose was raised a chief's son on the Batchewana reserve north of Sault Ste. Marie, was a good swimmer and a good athlete, said his mother Alice Corbiere from her home near the Soo.

"I'm hoping he went to a friends and the boat just got away. The rescue people are still searching for him. They haven't said to me that he drowned, but they think he is in the water," she said.

York Det. Andy Hanlon said that Corbiere was at a friend's home in Toronto Sunday morning and after driving to the Virginia Beach area that afternoon he spoke to the friend by telephone at 5 p.m.

"I have no indication that there was anything wrong at all," Hanlon said.

Police boats and the York helicopter searched the Georgina Island channel and around Sibbald Point yesterday.

Hanlon said they had located Corbiere's vehicles and had checked with his friends and family without finding anything unusual.

York police released a photo of Corbiere hoping that someone knows where he is or saw him Sunday evening.

"It's possible, he may be at somebody's place ... but it has been 24 hours now," Hanlon said.

One resident of Georgina Island said few people on the island know Corbiere that well because he keeps to himself, but they said he frequently visits the island with his two young daughters.

Reserve officials sent out a rescue team for Corbiere when he reportedly set out to walk across the ice early last winter when the condition of the ice was uncertain.

Corbiere was later found safe and sound in his island home.