Update 8:45 p.m. (Oct. 16)
Lori Rushton is now at home, and is doing well, say her family.
“Mom is doing amazing,” said Shari Rushton. “She is at home.”
Update 6 p.m. (Oct. 16)
It was the best of endings everyone could have hoped for.
After being reported missing on Thursday, Oct. 14, Lori Rushton was located alive in the forest just a few 100 metres from a cliff above her home around 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 16.
“Isn’t this something?” her husband Jerry said as he waited for his wife to be brought down by the rescuers. “This is so good.”
At the Central Cariboo Search and Rescue (CCSAR) command trailer set up in Lori and Jerry’s home at 1608 Evergreen Street the mood was festive.
Everyone was smiling, shaking their heads and obviously relieved.
Volunteers from Kamloops, 100 Mile House and Quesnel as well as Canadian Rangers had come to assist CCSAR with the search.
It was South Cariboo Search and Rescue members who located Lori. Member Sean Empey said the team started out on the top of Dog Creek Road on Saturday morning at 8 a.m. and started working toward Evergreen Street.
“We followed a grid and crisscrossed, covering 13 kilometres,” Empey said.
One of the team members spied Lori’s red coat and approached her.
He asked if she was Lori and when she answered ‘yes’, he told her people had been looking for her.
As soon as Lori’s niece Marnie Howell heard that her aunt had been found she bolted up into the forest to find her.
Once she was with her aunt she asked one of the rescuers to take some photographs of Marnie so she could send them to the family all waiting below.
“I said to her, ‘so, did you have any animals visit you.?’ Marnie said. “She said, ‘no, but I had some crows and some ravens the one day and the two days, but they couldn’t get anyone to help me. And then the third day they got me some help.”
Lori was brought down through the forest on a stretcher and then put into an ambulance.
Close family members visited Lori briefly in the ambulance before she was transported to Cariboo Memorial Hospital for further assessment.
Ronald Haines, Lori’s brother, said it was a miracle she was found alive.
“When I talked to her she said she got a free toque and I said to her, ‘you do the damnedest thing to get something for free,” Haines said.
Update 3:49 p.m. (Oct. 16)
RCMP are reporting missing senior Lori Rushton has been found alive.
More to come
Update 10:30 a.m. Saturday (Oct. 16)
Jerry Rushton of Williams Lake said while the response has been ‘astronomical,’ it is frustrating the search for his wife Lori Rushton, now in its third day, has revealed nothing so far.
“If we could just get some bloody results,” he said Saturday. “It is frustrating, after so long.”
Lori was last seen on Thursday, Oct. 14 at about 4 p.m. when she went outside of their home at 1608 Evergreen Street in the South Lakeside area to smoke a cigarette.
Jerry went outside to check on her 10 or 15 minutes later and she was gone.
“I’m humbled and amazed by the people responding,” he said as he sat outside on the front porch. “Even Mayor Walt Cobb phoned me first thing when he found out. Him and I go back since we were kids. My wife and his wife were at the dormitory in high school together for three years.”
Jerry said he has received calls from all over and was very touched to meet people from Kamloops Search and Rescue who showed up Saturday morning to help as well.
“People who know us or of us have called. I’m an ex-fireman and the department called and said ‘anything you want you’ve got it,’ and the forestry department too. Knowing everybody is just - well, I know everyone, I have been here since 1952.”
Don Trim, assistant search manager with Central Cariboo Search and Rescue. said Saturday morning there are seven teams searching with 36 members from Kamloops, 100 Mile House, Quesnel and Williams Lake as well as a 10-member team of Canadian Rangers that arrived Friday evening.
Alan Hobler, Kamloops SAR manager said they’d brought a dog team and were hoping to offer a ‘fresh set of eyes.’
Trim urged any members of the public who have security cameras to please check the footage to see if there have been any sightings of Lori.
“Even if they haven’t looked at the footage they can let the RCMP know they have it,” Trim suggested.
He also asked anyone who may have seen Lori on Thursday between 4 and 5 p.m. to please come forward.
She was wearing a red coat, grey pants and purple shoes. She weighs about 90 pounds and is 76 years old with short grey hair.
Update 6:30 p.m. (Friday)
The daughter of missing senior Lori Rushton of Williams Lake continues to be very worried for the safety of her mom.
“I’m so afraid. It’s getting dark again and it’s been more than 24 hours,” Shari Rushton said Friday at about 5:30 p.m. outside her parents’ home at 1608 Evergreen Street on South Lakeside where Central Cariboo Search and Rescue has now set up a command centre for the search and still has teams actively searching.
Shari said her mom just turned 76 on Sept. 19.
“She is so tiny. She weighs 90 pounds,” she said. “She doesn’t have dementia, but she has COPD, emphysema and was short of oxygen. She is probably curled up somewhere, I don’t think she is capable of going too far.”
Shari said her parents have lived at the house for 52 years. Before that they lived on Juniper Street below in a duplex and before that very close to South Lakeside in a triplex.
“Mom was the loans manager at the credit union for 24 years. She kept her brain active by playing cards and being an avid reader. My mom’s the glue that holds our family together.”
Lori was last seen going outside of the house to sit in the front at about 4 p.m. Thursday. Ten or 15 minutes later when her husband Jerry Rushton came to check on her, she was gone.
People have been asking Shari where her mother could have wandered off too, but in the last six months Lori hasn’t really been able to walk so it has been surprising to the family that she is missing.
“Last night I saw people had posted on Facebook that she normally walks up on Hazel, but mom has not been well and the only place she walks is around the yard. People are saying they saw her up on Hazel, but that’s a different woman.”
In recent days her mom had been acting confused and unlike her normal self, Shari said, noting she was in the hospital over the Thanksgiving weekend.
“We do know she has very low oxygen, had very low sodium. Apparently that can also cause confusion.”
Lori’s brother Roland Haines of Alexis Creek, who was outside the Evergeen Street home as well, and Shari said they are very grateful for all the support being shown the family.
“We’ve had the police, search and rescue, multiple people searching everywhere,” Shari said. “Everybody is doing the best they can. I have to say ‘thank you’ to absolutely everybody. The family is overwhelmed with gratitude. We have had such an outpouring from people, some who we don’t even know.”
Walking around the side of the yard and pointing to the back, Shari and Haines said if Lori had an adrenalin rush she could have walked out of the yard.
“The lake is right down there,” she pointed down the hill. “But they searched the lake with a boat, they had the chopper out today and they are bringing in some rangers in tonight,” Shari said. “They don’t think she went up into the woods, but you cannot rule it out.”
Correcting one item in the original description of her mom, Shari added she wanted people to know her mom’s shoes were actually purple, not light coloured.
For a moment, Shari stopped and brought up a photo on her phone showing the neighbour’s cat going inside the CCSAR command trailer.
“He has been going up to everyone and supporting them like a therapy cat,” she said. “ My mom would love that.”
Update: 11 a.m. (Friday)
Search and rescue teams from across the Cariboo continue to look for missing senior Lori Rushton in the neighbourhood of South Lakeside in Williams Lake.
At this time, CCSAR does not need extra volunteers from the public to help, though there are other important ways residents can assist with the search.
“We currently are not in need of convergent volunteers for searching. If you are a member of the public and would like to help, please: thoroughly check your own home, this includes checking; inside your house, your yard, in outer shelters, in sheds, and cars, and if you have cameras please thoroughly check that footage as well. If you have anything to report that may benefit the search, please notify RCMP,” CCSAR noted in a social media post.
“Currently, many dedicated Search and Rescue Members, Search Manager, and RCMP are working diligently.”
A helicopter has also been seen flying the area.
Update: 9 a.m. (Friday)
More help is arriving on South Lakeside Friday morning, Oct. 15, in Williams Lake as the search intensifies for a missing senior.
RCMP are encouraging all residents in the area to thoroughly check their backyards and outbuildings for any sign of Lori Rushton. Rushton was last seen outside of her home just after 4 p.m. Thursday, at 1608 Evergreen Street wearing a red jacket. She has been missing overnight with the temperature dropping to 4C.
The RCMP Police Dog Services are on location to begin searching for Rushton.
Central Cariboo Search and Rescue are also on scene at 1600 Evergreen Street, where those wanting to search can come down and report to CCSAR Dawn Unruh who will direct searchers to different areas.
SARS teams from Quesnel and 100 Mile House are also on the way to assist. Early Friday morning CCSAR members could be seen in a boat searching the lakeshore, which is several blocks away from Evergreen Street. Thursday night volunteers with flashlights walked the train tracks along the water as well as the areas around Hazel Street, Renner Road, Juniper Street and South Lakeside Drive, looking for Rushton.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Williams Lake RCMP at 250-392-6211.
Update: 6:15 a.m. (Friday)
The search for Lori Rushton is set to resume Friday morning, Oct. 15, at 8 a.m.
Rushton went missing from her Evergreen Street home on South Lakeside Drive just after 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 14.
Searchers looked late into the night Thursday for Rushton, who was last seen wearing a red jacket and grey pants. Her husband Jerry said his wife weighs about 98 pounds and has been having medical issues lately, which may have caused her to get confused or lost.
He last saw her stepping out their front door.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Williams Lake RCMP.
Update: 10 p.m. (Thursday)
Searchers are scouring ditches, trails and backyards in the neighborhood of South Lakeside Thursday night, Oct. 14, hoping to find an elderly woman who went missing almost six hours ago from her home on Evergreen Street.
Eighteen members of the Central Cariboo Search and Rescue are concentrated in the Hazel Street area of South Lakeside, while friends, neighbours and family are searching the area in cars with flashlights out the side windows, on quads and on foot with dogs.
The neighbourhood is surrounded by forest and most homes in the area have large backyards.
Searchers could be heard calling ‘Lori,’ the name of the missing woman, known as a friendly woman who liked to walk Hazel Street.
“I was hoping my dog would find her,” said neighbour Jessica Doerner, who was out searching on her own for Rushton. “She loves my dog.”
RCMP, who are also on scene, shared an image with the Tribune of Rushton in the red jacket she is believed to be wearing. Her husband Jerry, who has support at home while searchers are looking for his wife, said she was also wearing grey sweat pants and light-coloured sneakers when she disappeared from their home at 1608 Evergreen Street at about 4:15 p.m.
Her husband and neighbours began searching by 4:30 p.m.
Anyone who has information on Lorie Rushton’s whereabouts is asked to contact Williams Lake RCMP at 250-392-6211.
Police and neighbours on South Lakeside are searching the area near Evergreen Street to find a missing woman.
Lori Rushton was last seen at her home at 1608 Evergreen Street just after 4 p.m. and was last seen wearing a red jacket, grey sweat pants and light-coloured sneakers.
“She just went out our front door and up and just disappeared,” said Jerry, her husband of 57 years, who is worried sick.
Jerry said his wife has been dealing with some medical issues and has been on oxygen. She has never disappeared before, but fears she is lost or confused.
“We started looking at 4:30 p.m. with the neighbours,” said Jerry, adding many people are out looking for her, including the RCMP.
If you have any information, or have seen Lori Rushton, please contact the Williams Lake RCMP at 250-392-6211.