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

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

Haida hereditary chief is BC Liberal Candidate for North Coast Region

Roy Jones Jr. is named BC Liberal MLA candidate for the North Coast

$3.4 million childcare centre to be built in Lax Kw’alaams

Lax Kw’alaams funding has been approved through the provincial New Spaces Fund

COVID-19 cases grow to 13 at B.C. First Nation near Fort St. James

“This is very serious,” says Nak’azdli Whut’en Chief

Ecosocialists nominate candidate for Stikine

Edward Quinlan is the new party’s regional director for Skeena and Bulkley Valley regions

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

2 British Columbians arrested, 3 at large in massive Alberta drug bust

Eight people are facing 33 charges in what police have dubbed Project Incumbent

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Liberals reach deal with NDP on COVID-19 aid bill, likely averting election

NDP and the Liberals have reached an agreement on COVID-19 sick-leave

Most Read