British Columbia

Missing Penticton woman found safe survived 5 days in rugged B.C. Interior

A Penticton woman missing for several days in a mountainous region in B.C.'s rugged southern Interior has been been found alive and unscathed.

Megan Roberts, 32, found alive 5 days after leaving friend on dirt road west of Summerland, B.C.

A profile picture of Megan Roberts posted to Facebook on June 10, 2019, before her ordeal of getting lost in the rugged southern interior between Summerland and Hedley, B.C. (Facebook)

A Penticton woman missing for several days in a mountainous region in B.C.'s rugged southern Interior has been been found alive and unscathed.

Const. James Grandy with the Penticton RCMP said Megan Roberts, 32, managed to survive, in part, because she is young, but mostly because she was able to find water, a source of food and even shelter to stay warm.

"She found some berries to eat, and she covered herself up in some kind of natural hole. So, she managed to stay alive and she was in relatively healthy condition when she was found near Hedley [...] So, she had trekked quite a distance as well, but she managed to do so unscathed more or less."

RCMP say Roberts went missing after she exited a friend's car on Batheville Road, just west of Summerland, B.C., about 400 kilometres east of Vancouver on  Aug. 7.

Grandy said the friend waited for a time on the dirt road but when she didn't return, he contacted police out of concern for her well-being.

"It wasn't entirely remote but certainly, you know, if you walk in off the road, off the dirt road, it wouldn't take much to get lost for sure."

Grandy said police were quick to contact search-and-rescue crews Wednesday but weren't able to begin a full-scale search until Thursday. 

Dense woods

Meanwhile, police said Roberts told them she noticed search helicopters overhead, but she realized they wouldn't see her, because the woods in that area are quite dense.

The terrain is rough to the southwest of Summerland. Grandy said there are some cabins and lakes, but beyond that, the landscape is mostly protected parkland surrounding Apex mountain.

"Between Summerland and Hedley there is quite a distance there for sure. So it is quite amazing that she found her way from point A to point B."

For now, Grandy said, RCMP continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding Robert's departure.

He said Roberts was extremely lucky to find her way to a dirt road where a commercial truck driver saw her and stopped to help.

Grandy said Roberts has also been in contact with police victims' services but couldn't say more due to privacy issues.

The CBC has reached out to Roberts for comment.

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