Search for missing mushroom picker near Nanaimo ends tragically

Search for missing mushroom picker near Nanaimo ends tragically

WATCH: Seventy-two-year-old Faye Hanson was found deceased Saturday morning. Dean Stoltz has more. 

After six days lost in the woods, the search for Faye Hanson was ramping up Saturday morning with search teams from as far away as the mainland arriving at the site about five kilometres west of the Nanaimo airport to help out.

A swift water rescue team was brought in and a helicopter was to transport teams deeper into the wilderness but at 10 a.m. the search ended almost before it even began.

“The team that located her, they weren’t really doing a grid search they were still on route to their position,” said Garth Cameron of West Coast search and rescue (SAR), one of the search managers tasked with organizing the teams.

“The area that she was found in had been searched, dog teams went through there, other teams went through there in different directions, so the ruggedness of the terrain and what she was found in really showed that you really had to almost stand on Faye to find her and that’s pretty much what happened this morning.”

The 72-year-old who loved the outdoors went mushroom picking last Sunday but when she didn’t show up for work Monday morning a massive search was launched. She wasn’t dressed properly for several days and nights outside.

No information on how long she might have survived is being released but the RCMP confirms her death is not suspicious in nature.

Searchers hope that finding her will provide her family with some closure

“They (searchers) have done their job, they have completed their job and we have brought the person home to their family so they can mourn their loss, bury them and move on,” said Shauneen Nichols of Ladysmith SAR.

“That’s why we’re here, we’re not here for ourselves we’re here for the family and to give them something, we are here to serve them,” added Cameron.

The teams say it was an exhausting week and very difficult terrain.

“You know we were here from 5 a.m. till one o’clock in the morning planning, teams were searching from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., just really really pounding through the bush, it’s really really tough and exhausting on everybody,” said Arrowsmith SAR Search Manager Nick Rivers.

Sadly, the end result wasn’t what everyone was working so hard for.

Dean StoltzDean Stoltz

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