August 23, 2018 1:09 pm

RCMP search underway near Hinton 12 years after Stephanie Stewart vanished

Home video images of Stephanie Stewart at the Athabasca lookout near Hinton, where she was last seen in 2006.

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More than a decade after she vanished in a remote part of western Alberta, a ground and water search is underway north of Hinton as part of the investigation into the disappearance of Stephanie Stewart.

The RCMP Historical Homicide Unit is leading the investigation into the disappearance of the 70-year-old forestry worker.

READ MORE: 10 years since wildfire spotter Stephanie Stewart vanished near Hinton, Alta.

RCMP along with multiple agencies, including the Agriculture and Forestry Ministry, and search and rescue teams, are searching near the Athabasca Fire Tower, Jarvis Lake and Highway 40 North in Hinton.

The Athabasca lookout, a fire watch tower located 25 kilometres northwest of Hinton, Alberta, in 2011.

Global News

In 2006, Stewart vanished while working alone at a wildfire lookout in northwestern Alberta. The senior had vanished during her morning routine.

The healthy and adventurous senior was reported missing on Aug. 26, 2006 from the Athabasca lookout, located about 25 kilometres northwest of Hinton, an industrial town about 280 kilometres west of Edmonton at the edge of Jasper National Park.

Stewart, 5-foot-2 and 105 lbs., was considered very active and healthy for a 70-year-old and isn’t thought to have just walked away from the property where she spent each summer working as a fire spotter.

Stephanie Stewart is shown in an undated handout photo.

Credit: RCMP

READ MORE: Cold Case: A look inside the Alberta RCMP’s Historical Homicide Unit

Police said there may be an increased police presence and said there is no risk to public safety. As well, there are no restrictions to any public activities in the area.

RCMP said the search isn’t connected to any new leads specifically but rather, each open homicide investigation continually gets investigated.

The search is expected to last until Friday. No other details are being released.

Home video images of Stephanie Stewart at the Athabasca lookout near Hinton, where she was last seen in 2006.

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© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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