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

Last year’s Halloween saw a sunny day and in-person costume contests. (Blair McBride photo)
What’s Burns Lakes’ spooktacular plan for this Halloween?

Trick or treating, online contests and more for this season

Fiona West at the LDSS walking track. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)
The walking track — a boon for the community

The walking track — a boon for the community

[L-R] Councillor Henry Wiebe, CAO Sheryl Worthing, Mayor Dolores Funk, Deputy Corporate Officer Val Anderson and Councillor Kevin White at a council meeting. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)
Museum urges council to set up a 2023 Centennial Celebrations Committee

Property taxes, by-election and other council decisions

Editorial. (Lakes District News file photo)
What astronauts can teach you about distancing and stress

On Oct. 21, NASA astronaut, Chris Cassidy and cosmonauts Ivan Vagner and… Continue reading

Adam Schmidt is currently at the BC Children’s Hospital. (GoFundMe/Laurel Miller)
Community comes together for a 15 year old Burns Laker admitted at BC Children’s hospital

A fundraising campaign to support the family is being run now

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

Los Angeles Dodgers celebrate after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 to win the baseball World Series in Game 6 Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
L.A. Dodgers beat Rays 3-1 to win 1st World Series title since 1988

National League champs claim crown in six games

Seven-year-old Aaliyah Rosa was found dead in an apartment in Langley in July. (Langley Advance Times files)
Child’s body cold, no pulse: Off-duty cop testifies in Langley mother’s murder trial

The seven-year-old girl’s mother faces a first-degree murder charge

Tyrell Giroux was arrested by Williams Lake RCMP on Sunday, Oct. 25. (Facebook video screenshot)
Tsilhqot’in leaders call for suspension of officers seen in controversial Williams Lake arrest

Disturbing video demands an immediate, independent investigation, says TNG

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

People march during a climate strike in Montreal, Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Judge rejects 15 youths’ climate change lawsuit against Canadian government

Justice Michael Manson has granted the government’s motion to strike the plaintiffs’ claim

A woman walks through check in at WestJet at Pearson International airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Strong support for pre-flight COVID testing ahead of upcoming WestJet trial: YVR

Airport is partnering with UBC, which is helping choose the method of pre-flight testing

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID pandemic during a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau says pandemic ‘really sucks,’ and that Christmas gatherings are up in the air

The prime minister encouraged residents to continue to follow the advice of local health authorities

The Williams Lake Indian Band is stipulating no-go zones for mushroom picking in areas burned by last summer’s wildfires. 100 Mile Free Press photo
Who controls mushroom harvesting on Indigenous lands?

‘We don’t necessarily know where the mushrooms grow, how old the stands need to be, those types of things.’

Most Read