Missing woman found after surviving 9 days in wilderness
Published Friday, June 19, 2015 6:49PM PDT
A 24-year-old woman who got lost in the B.C. Interior last week wearing only a shirt, shorts and flip-flops has been found alive.
Winnipeg resident Kara Stoyanowski and her friend were driving near Peachland on June 9 when their van got stuck in stream bed. Stoyanowski walked off in one direction, while her friend headed in another.
RCMP Cpl. Joe Duncan said it appears the young woman followed a stream uphill, and soon found herself lost.
“She maybe got herself kind of twisted around and hunkered down for a few days hoping to be found,” Duncan said.
Stoyanowski eventually decided to get moving, and managed to survive on a diet of mushrooms and creek water for days.
On Thursday, she finally found a forestry road and crossed paths with two men who were checking on livestock in the area. She was taken to Kelowna General Hospital for examination, and was found to have only sustained minor injuries.
“It is remarkable to say the least that after nine days she comes out, and in good condition,” Duncan said.
Her disappearance sparked an extensive search effort, but crews had scaled back their activities by Thursday. Stan Wieczorek of the Central Okanagan Search and Rescue said there was concern that Stoyanowski might have reasons to not want to be found.
“We backed off for a couple days to give her a chance to find a way out,” he said.
Either way, Wieczorek said the circumstances of her survival are a reminder that when people go missing – even for more than a week – there’s always a chance.
“Don’t give up,” he said.
With a report from CTV Vancouver’s Kent Molgat