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OPP call off search for missing Bay Street investment banker

Brad Griffiths' body was recovered on Saturday from the waters of Lake Joseph, near Parry Sound, Ont. — five days after he was seen in the water.

Edward Regan/The Globe and Mail

Ontario Provincial Police have called off their search for Toronto investment banker Brad Griffiths, but a private company hired by his family will continue to scour the waters where he was last seen.

Mr. Griffiths went missing on Monday afternoon on Lake Joseph, in Muskoka, Ont., about 200 kilometres north of Toronto. A witness at the scene saw him in distress in the water shortly before 1 p.m., while his motorboat continued to run in circles. Police say they don't believe he was wearing a life jacket.

Local firefighters rushed to the scene, where they found a pair of Mr. Griffiths's shoes and a glove nearby. The OPP arrived soon after.

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OPP divers can only search to a depth of 100 feet, while Mr. Griffiths was last seen in a part of the lake that is 292 feet deep, said Constable Charles Ostrom, spokesman for the West Parry Sound OPP. The private company was called in because its equipment can use sonar and video to scan the bottom of the lake.

West Parry Sound OPP's marine unit had been working with the company throughout the week, but called off its role in the search late Thursday afternoon.

"If our resources become necessary to assist from this point on, we will be notified by either the private company or the family," Constable Ostrom said. "OPP will keep in close contact with the situation."

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 on the north end of the lake, close to the spot he was last seen.

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.

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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With reports from Tim Kiladze and Tara Perkins in Toronto.

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About the Author
Parliamentary reporter

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

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