Tim Moss, left, and Rob Higgs of Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue enter GPS co-ordinates at the search base set up on Timberlands Road. Searchers are looking for a 73-year-old Nanaimo woman who didn’t return from a mushroom picking excursion. (GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin)

UPDATE: More searchers out looking for missing senior near Nanaimo

Search and rescue personnel from all over the Island are looking for 73-year-old Faye Hanson

Searchers from across the Island are all helping to try to find a Nanaimo senior who went missing while mushroom picking.

More than 30 searchers were out in the bush south of the Nanaimo this afternoon and another 30 were en route from elsewhere on Vancouver Island as the search for 73-year-old Faye Hanson continues.

She left to pick mushrooms on Sunday, Oct. 22 at about noon and her vehicle was discovered nosed into a trailhead near Timberlands and Ninatti roads on Monday, Oct. 23 at about 10:30 a.m.

Rob Christopher, search manager with Nanaimo Search and Rescue, said the operation is progressing as well as it can be, leaving “no stone unturned.”

“We’re all positive. We’ve all had searches with people, even of this age, that are a lot tougher than you think and we’re keeping a positive attitude that she’s just sitting on a log somewhere waiting for us to come across her,” he said.

An RCMP police dog and search dogs are out looking, searchers on ATVs and a dirt bike are in the forest and a mounted unit is covering hilly terrain.

Christopher said the operation started with what’s called a ‘hasty search’ of the trails surrounding Hanson’s last-known location. Searchers found a cigarette pack, Hanson’s usual brand, but aren’t sure it belonged to her.

“The family’s let us know that she does not throw her cigarette butts on the ground, but packages could fall out of somebody’s pocket, so whenever we find a clue, we give it some weight,” he said.

No other clues have been found and no track has been established.

Christopher said involving so many search teams isn’t unusual.

“As the searchers get exhausted and have to go back to their day jobs and things, we have to replace them, and so we go further and further afield if the search continues on,” he said.

Police are asking hunters to be aware that search personnel and dogs are in the area.



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

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