Drone takes to sky in search of missing North Okanagan women
The search for missing women in the North Okanagan-Shuswap was taken to new heights on Saturday.
An army of search volunteers enlisted the help of a professional drone operator to search from the sky.
“We’re looking for any evidence so we’ve got a list of lost articles of clothing, anything that doesn’t seem to fit out here, vehicle tracks,” said Ty Kelsey of Crystal Mountain Aerial Media.
The volunteers were given permission for the aerial search by the owners of a private property near Yankee Flats Road and Watson Road.
It’s close to the farm where Traci Genereaux’s remains were discovered on Oct. 21.
“Our property borders the property that borders on to the place that they were searching, and we just want to help them in any way we can for the parents and the families of the daughters who are missing” Stephanie Schenkel, the daughter of the property owners, said.
Community member Jody Leon has organized multiple search efforts but it’s the first time they’ve used a drone.
“We know that when the RCMP were out here with the remains of Traci Genereaux, that there was a lot of snow on the ground at that point,” Leon said. “That snow has basically melted away so we feel that this is a very optimal time to come in and try to see if there is anything that might have been missed.”
Jane and Dennis Aubertin, the parents of Nicole Bell, joined in the search.
It was their first time to the Silver Creek area since their daughter’s disappearance.
Bell was last seen on Sept. 2 in the Sicamous area.
Three other women — Caitlin Potts, Ashley Simpson and Deanna Wertz — have also disappeared since early 2016.
“We have three children of our own so I can only imagine what these families must be going through and if we can help alleviate any of their concerns, that could just be fantastic for us,” Kelsey said.
“The families still need to find out where those women are and so we still need to continue to raise awareness and to continue to look for them,” added Leon.
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