New focus in air search

Alanna Kelly

Family members of two people last seen taking off from Penticton airport have received new information on the search.

Dominic Neron, 28, and Ashley Bourgault, 31, took off Saturday in a single-engine Mooney aircraft and did not land as scheduled in Edmonton. Search and rescue crews are now on their sixth day of searching by air and land in the Revelstoke area.

Telus provided more details about exactly where Neron’s cellphone last pinged on Wednesday night.

Samantha McClellan, Bourgeault’s sister, says a cell tower to the east of Revelstoke received a ping from the phone, and they believe the plane is between Fidelity Mountain and Golden.

“We have not searched east of Rogers Pass as there was no ping information with the Rogers Pass cellphone tower from the phone on board the plane. It did communicate with the Fidelity Mountain cell tower near the west boundary of Glacier Park,” she read from an update provided to the family.

Searchers have focused on the higher corridor west of Rogers Pass and have identified three new search areas.

“Search Area 3 is a focus point, but weather conditions have been dictating our search plans as the day evolves,” said Katelyn Moores at the Joint Rescue Co-odination Centre in Victoria.

“They are taking every advantage of going over any areas. There is always a chance that maybe we missed something.”

McClellan believes her sister, a mother of three, is alive.

“I am talking to her in my mind, but it feels like a nightmare not being able to talk to her,” she said.

The Neron and Bourgeault families are together in Edmonton and met for the first time Wednesday.

“It's times like these that you really appreciate the bond a family has,” said Bourgeault.

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