September 26, 2023

La Ronge Northerner

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Golden Ears Park: A missing Canadian teen has been found after a 54-hour search

Golden Ears Park: A missing Canadian teen has been found after a 54-hour search

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Esther Wang disappeared Tuesday in Golden Air Park in British Columbia

A Canadian teen has been found two days after she went missing in the wilderness of a vast provincial park.

Esther Wang, 16, disappeared after becoming separated from her hiking group at the 555-kilometre (214-mile) Golden Air National Park in British Columbia.

Authorities launched a massive 54-hour search operation that involved a helicopter, a drone and 16 search teams.

But the girl walked out of the corridor unharmed on her own on Friday.

Police said Ms. Wang was recovering with her family.

“She’s healthy, she’s happy, she’s with family. This is the best possible outcome for us,” RCMP Wendy Mehat said in a statement.

“Esther’s family expresses their sincere gratitude to all of the first responders and search and rescue groups,” added Sopet Mihat. “They are very grateful for this outcome and are asking for privacy at this time.”

Officials said Ms. Wang exited the East Canyon trail where she first disappeared at around 21:30 local time on Friday (04:30 GMT on Saturday).

It is unclear how she separated from her group. Local media reported that the group left an observation post at around 14:45 on Tuesday, and realized Ms. Wang was not with them about 15 minutes later.

The group leader returned to the sentry but couldn’t find it, so he raised the alarm. The search began soon after.

“We are pleased with the outcome of the search and returning Esther to her family is our goal,” said search and rescue spokesman Ryan Smith.

“We used as many resources as possible. I want to thank our partner organizations, the RCMP, other first responders, and helicopter companies who helped us with this exhaustive search.”