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UPDATE: US man still missing almost 2 weeks after attending Shambhala Music Festival

(UPDATE - Aug. 8 @ 2:10 PM): It has been an exhausting few days for first responders in the Kootenays.

South Columbia Search and Rescue spent the past four days searching for Harsha Paladugu, a US resident who flew from California to Vancouver to attend the Shambhala Music Festival.

The festival, which took place outside Salmo, BC ended on July 25, when Paladugu was set to leave and meet friends in Toronto.

When he didn't arrive, friends and family became concerned for his well-being.

Reports of Paladugu came in just two days later on July 27, where he was reported sitting on Hwy 3 and 6 beside a suitcase just outside where the festival happened.

The suitcase, which was turned over to the police was later confirmed to belong to Paladugu.

SAR teams from across the region joined forces over the weekend and spent over 8,000 hours searching with the help of 100 volunteers and RCMP resources.

The Rossland, Castlegar, Nelson, Creston, Kaslo, Cranbrook, Kimberly and Grand Forks Search and Rescue teams all faced extreme heat and challenging terrain during their search.

Numerous items that belonged to Paladugu were located during the search, like clothing, shoes, a credit card and receipts to help establish a timeline of his whereabouts and some sort of direction of travel, yet he remains missing.

“After careful consideration and the exhausting efforts the decision was made to suspend search efforts until further information or clues become available,” said South Columbia SAR in a Facebook post.

“This is a tough result for not only the subjects family and friends but our searchers who have put countless hours into search efforts.”

While the search for Harsha Paladugu has been halted, for the time being, RCMP is still searching for answers on what happened to this gentleman.

Paladugu is described as an East Indian male, standing at 5’ 10”, weighing about 200 lbs, with black hair.

Anyone with information on Harsha Paladugu, or where he might be, is asked to contact the Salmo RCMP at 250 357-2212.


(ORIGINAL STORY - Aug. 2 @ 3:30 PM): Salmo RCMP is looking for answers in the case of a missing person from out of the country.

Harsha Paladugu flew from California to Vancouver on July 20 to attend the popular music festival, Shambhala.

He had stayed with friends in the lower mainland and caught a ride share to the festival just outside Salmo the next morning.

</who>Photo credit: Salmo RCMP

The 30-year-old was supposed to visit a friend in Toronto following the event but has yet to arrive.

Reports came in of a possible sighting of Harsha a week later on July 27, who was sitting on Hwy 3 and 6 beside a suitcase.

The suitcase, which was later turned over to the police, has been determined to belong to Harsha.

Another report came to police of an East Indian man running through yards in Salmo, believed to be Harsha on the same day around 6:30 pm.

There have been no further reported sightings of Harsha and his current whereabouts are unknown.

Harsha Paladugu is described as an East Indian male, standing at 5’ 10”, weighing about 200 lbs, with black hair.

Anyone with information on Harsha Paladugu, or where he might be, is asked to contact the Salmo RCMP at 250 357-2212.



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