BAKER CITY, Ore. -- The search for a Canadian couple continued across large parts of Eastern Oregon, Washington and parts of Idaho Monday.
The couple - 59-year-old Albert Chretien and his 56-year-old wife, Rita - are from British Columbia and were driving to Nevada when they disappeared.
The Baker and Malheur sheriff's offices have been searching by land and air for the pair as weather permit, but overall, search efforts in Oregon have been scaled back after 23 days.
Law enforcement officials said they had been able to track the couple to Oroville, Wash., the morning of March 19. And then surveillance images showed the couple at a gas station in Baker City where their credit card was used for the last time.
In a statement Monday, the Chretien family thanked searchers from U.S. and Canadian law enforcement. "Since March 31st, friends and family have witnessed an around the clock effort to find them. We want to thank all the citizens of Oregon who have been praying, searching and providing tips to the authorities. It has moved us to tears at times with how willing people have been to stop their own lives to help out.
We have been blessed to know that the last place Albert and Rita was seen was Baker City - we feel like Al & Rita have been embraced just like they were part of the Baker City family. Thank you for all of your hard work and God bless."
Oregon State Police said the search area encompasses 27,773 square miles.
Albert was last seen wearing black jeans, a khaki dress shirt, black shoes and a black baseball cap with the logo "Rital" in bold, white lettering. He is 5-6 tall, 175-lbs. with blue eyes and brown hair. Rita was wearing a brown jacket and white blouse with dark leather shoes and a beige mesh purse. She is 5-3 tall with shoulder-length blond hair, blue eyes and glasses.
The couple were traveling in a light brown 2000 Chevy Astro Van with license BC number 212-CAV.
The couple owns a Penticton excavation business and they were on their way to a trade show in Nevada, investigators said, but they never made it to their hotel.