A campaign to raise money for Ben Kilmer’s children has been started to help pay for their education. (GoFundMe)

Ben Kilmer GoFundMe started for children’s education fund

Read the statement from family of missing Vancouver Island man Ben Kilmer

Following news that the body of missing Cobble Hill man Ben Kilmer was found last week, a GoFundMe campaign has been started to help pay for his children’s education.

The family released a statement Oct. 24 confirming that police had found Kilmer’s body and that foul play was not suspected.

RELATED: Family confirms Ben Kilmer found dead

RELATED: Tonya Kilmer grieves for husband, thanks community for support

Kilmer mysteriously disappeared May 16 on the outskirts of Duncan. His work van was found alongside Lake Cowichan Road with the motor running, but no sign of the driver. Police say a hiker found the body Oct. 17 in an area well outside the original search area.

Dozens of search crews spent countless hours over the past five months searching the rugged wilderness outside of Duncan. Kilmer’s body was finally found near the Chemainus River, north of the location where his van was discovered.

Throughout the search, Kilmer’s wife Tonya made impassioned pleas to those helping with the search and the general public.

READ MORE: Ben Kilmer’s wife makes impassioned plea for missing husband

The family of Ben Kilmer issued the following statement on the discovery of his body.

“We are heartbroken to confirm that our beloved Ben Kilmer was found on October 17, 2018, in a remote area of Duncan, British Columbia.

Since May 16, 2018, we as a community have searched and prayed for Ben’s safe return. We want to express our gratitude now for the immense love and support from across Vancouver Island by the Province of British Columbia and well beyond those borders. Our community rallied behind us for five months to comb through dense wilderness; put up more than 100,000 posters; donate time, funds, and resources; and contribute heartfelt energy to finding Ben.

It is our sincere wish that every person who was involved feels the value of that effort.

There are no words to fully convey what this has meant to us, but we thank you with all our hearts.

We want to acknowledge the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (especially RCMP members Cst Scott Harder, Staff Sgt Kurt Bosnell, Cst Jennifer Morgan, Cst Ville Lempenin, Chief Superintendent Sean Sullivan, and Cpl Tammy Douglas) for their remarkable dedication and service.

We also wish to thank Cowichan Search and Rescue, Search and Rescue British Columbia, WestJet, the Canada Search and Disaster Dogs Association, Dave Hastie and Keith Duncan, Chris and Leigh Davies, countless printing companies (including Midisland Ink Depot, Tyler McLoughlin and his team at Better Print Victoria, Staples Canada, Copycat Printing and Design, Oak Bay Copy, Sooke Fax and Copy Centre, among others), Coast Outdoor Advertising, Ltd., Greg and Cody Adams at Sunfest Country Music Festival, many island stores and restaurants who donated supplies and refreshments, Graeme and Stacey Delousignan and the team at Canada Post, Shane Michaels at Winds of Mercy, media outlets who spread awareness of Ben’s story, and of course the thousands of volunteers and search parties who poured hours into this effort.

Details for a private memorial will be shared with Ben’s loved ones. Anyone wishing to share their condolences with the family may do so on our Facebook page, find Ben Kilmer. For those who would like to honour Ben through a donation in memory, an education fund will be established for his two young children via GoFundMe (https://ca.gofundme.com/kilmer-children-education-fund).

As we take this time away from the public eye to grieve, we ask for privacy and respect from the media and and the general public. It is our sincere wish that this be honoured.

The Kilmer Family will issue no further comment at this time.”

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