Drones were used to help a search of several areas linked to the cases of missing women in the north Okanagan on Saturday, Nov. 18. -image credit: Jim Elliot/Salmon Arm Observer

Drones take off to search for missing North Okanagan women

A volunteer search party was supported by professional drone operators

The search for missing women in the North Okanagan and Shuswap took to the skies on Saturday, Nov. 18.

The efforts of a group of volunteer searchers were supported by drones operated by Sky Crew Aerial Imagery from Salmon Arm and Crystal Mountain Aerial Media from West Kelowna.

The drones provided the search team with a bird’s-eye view of areas of interest in the cases of missing women Caitlin Potts, Deanna Wertz, Ashley Simpson and Nicole Bell.

Among the searchers were Bell’s parents Dennis and Jane Aubertin, who said they are very grateful for the efforts of the search team.

Bell was last seen in Sicamous on Sept. 2. Her cell phone was later found in Salmon Arm.

Ty Kelsey and Tavia Grabas from Crystal Mountain assisted searchers at a property located on Watson Road in the Yankee Flats area.

Mira Schenkel, the owner of the Watson Road property said she was happy to allow the searchers to use her land. Schenkel met John Simpson, Ashley’s father when he was in the area searching for her this spring — she never met Ashley, who lived nearby before her disappearance.

Jody Leon, who organized the search, explained the property is a good place to launch drones from because it is near the area where Deanna Wertz and Ashley Simpson went missing and it is also located just northwest of the Sagmoen farm where the remains of 18-year-old Traci Genereaux were discovered by the RCMP in October.

Leon also organized a gathering on Thursday evening to mark Ashley Simpson’s 34th birthday.

Dakota Lalonde from Sky Crew assisted another team of searchers who focused on a wooded area near Springbend road north of Enderby which the RCMP confirmed they searched on Oct. 20 and 21.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: A message from Mission’s mayor

Pam Alexis asks residents to support local businesses, stay strong during COVID-19 pandemic

Mission developers donate $10,000, challenge others to donate as well

Gary Toor and Jason Tiegen gve the money to Mission Community Services, hope to raise $20,000

You can design a new banner for Mission’s downtown area

Mission Downtown Business Association is presenting its second annual banner design competition

One woman arrested in Abbotsford on Sunday after stabbing

25-year-old man sent to hospital with serious injuries following incident

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

COVID-19: 4 new deaths, 25 new cases but only in Vancouver Coastal, Fraser Health

A total of 1,291 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

COVID-19: Don’t get away for Easter weekend, Dr. Bonnie Henry warns

John Horgan, Adrian Dix call 130 faith leaders as holidays approach

COVID-19: Trudeau says 30K ventilators on the way; 3.6M Canadians claim benefits

Canada has seen more than 17,000 cases and at least 345 deaths due to COVID-19

RCMP call on kids to name latest foal recruits

The baby horses names are to start with the letter ‘S’

As Canadians return home amid pandemic, border crossings dip to just 5% of usual traffic

Non-commercial land crossing dipped by 95%, air travel dropped by 96 per cent, according to the CBSA

Logan Boulet Effect: Green Shirt Day calls on Canadians to become organ donors

While social distancing, the day also honours the 16 lives lost in the 2018 Humboldt Broncos Crash

COMMENTARY: Knowing where COVID-19 cases are does not protect you

Dr. Bonnie Henry explains why B.C. withholds community names

B.C. wide burning restrictions come into effect April 16

‘Larger open burns pose an unnecessary risk and could detract from wildfire detection’

Most Read