It was a happy ending Monday night for the family of a missing Warfield woman.
After being unable to locate her earlier the same afternoon, Holly Ridenour’s family reported the 59-year-old missing, but as it turned out, the situation was all about crossed lines of communication.
“She had gone out hiking with a friend and there had been some miscommunication as to what was going on and where she was,” said Cpl. Mike Wilson of the Trail RCMP. “(She was missing) for just a few hours. It was a very good outcome – she was absolutely fine.”
Before Ridenour was located, police say there was a huge outpouring of community assistance, trying to locate the missing woman.
“We had the Rossland Search and Rescue Team, all volunteers, come out and deployed, which is hugely helpful,” said Cpl. Wilson. “We got such a great response. People were all trying to come in and help. It is a really good area for that kind of stuff.”
Cpl. Wilson says he saw similar community outreach when a 10-year-old boy went missing in Castlegar on Nov. 19. He was found just a few hours later by members of the community who had kept their eyes peeled and noticed him on a bus looking lost.
“This is a great area to be working in because people are really good for helping out,” he said. “It really makes a huge difference. There is always such a huge community response.”
When a loved one goes missing or their safety is in question, Cpl. Wilson encourages phone calls to the police for help, but has a few tips where police involvement could be avoided.
“If you are going on a trip or going out to do things, we always recommend telling someone where you are and what you are doing,” he said.
With the backcountry ski and snowmobile season about to start, the need for proper communication prior to heading out is vital. Especially when search and rescue volunteers take great risks in trying to locate someone in the backcountry in the event of a mishap.
“Even leaving a note or making a call – any of those things go miles to help people out,” said Cpl. Wilson. “It is all about people’s families and know what their loved ones are safe. It is just to help reduce people’s concerns.”