Video shows missing Sask. mother, believed swept away, standing on bridge trestle above raging river

The family of Kristi Lavallee is holding on to the hope she will be found, after hearing reports that the Regina woman had allegedly fallen into a raging river in British Columbia and been swept away.

'We're just going day by day,' woman's family says

CBC News has obtained video of Kristi Lavallee, who is missing after RCMP received a report about her falling into a river, standing on a bridge trestle above the Mad River. 0:24

CBC News has obtained video showing Kristi Lavallee, a Saskatchewan mother believed to have been swept away by a raging river, standing on a bridge trestle above that river.

It's not known when the video showing Lavallee was taken.

On Friday, Clearwater RCMP received a report at 8:57 p.m. PT that the 31-year-old, known as Jessie to her family, had fallen into the Mad River near Highway 5 north of Vavenby, B.C., according to a news release.

RCMP say the incident was reported by a 36-year-old Regina man who said Lavallee was his girlfriend.

The video, provided by a friend of Lavallee's who did not want to be named, was shot by Lee Maraden, Lavallee's boyfriend.

Lavallee's sister Terri confirmed that the woman in the video is Kristi.

Clearwater RCMP Staff Sgt. Grant Simpson confirmed Wednesday that RCMP had seen the video and that it was shot above the Mad River. Simpson would not confirm when the video was shot.

'We have hope'

Lavallee's family is holding on to the hope she will be found, after hearing reports that the Regina woman had fallen into a raging river in British Columbia and been swept away in the rushing current.

"We're just going day by day," said Terri Lavallee. "Every day, we have hope they're going to find her."

She noted there are "extreme cases" reported of people surviving in the wilderness for days without food before being found, and she's holding out hope that's true for her sister, who is the mother of two sons, aged six and nine.

"Maybe she's somewhere out there injured. There's just so many unknowns. We don't just want to let out go of hope."

Aerial search being conducted

"Raging" river conditions were making the search for Lavallee difficult, according to Clearwater RCMP.

RCMP said "initial reports indicate that the woman was on the lower portion of the old Highway 5 trestle bridge when she "slipped and fell into the Mad River running below."

They noted there is a possibility she could have been swept into the North Thompson River. Ground searches were considered too treacherous, with RCMP commencing with aerial searches instead.

Terri said she wanted to keep the focus on her sister, and get her sister's face out in the public so that people were more easily able to find her.

Terri said that the family only received word of her sister's disappearance on Saturday evening, with police tracking down her mother to deliver the news.

"I was devastated. I couldn't believe it. I was so distraught, hurt. I couldn't believe it took that long to find my mother."

The family felt they had to go to British Columbia and get answers, said Terri. 

"I didn't sleep, I could not sleep until I got there. I had to know," she said. The family made the 18-hour drive to Clearwater, where they are waiting for word from the search. 

'I would just cry in happiness'

Terri described her sister as a "beautiful and wonderful, friendly, charismatic, loving" person.

"She considers my grandchildren her grandchildren. She loves them, her nieces and nephews. She loved being a kookum."

Her sister had applied to go back to school and had recently been accepted to a business management program for the next year, with aspirations to follow a career in golf management.

Even if she could speak to her sister or see her, Terri said she wouldn't have any words to express her feelings.

"I would just cry in happiness, that she's here, she's not out there," she said, before asking the family's most pressing question: "Where is she?"

With files from Kendall Latimer