Clue in missing plane

Alanna Kelly

The family of a missing woman who was last seen taking off in a single engine plane from Penticton are hopeful that an image taken from a drone may help locate her.

Dominic Neron, 28, and Ashley Bourgeault, 31, were expected to land in Edmonton on Nov. 25, but vanished.

Victoria's Joint Rescue Coordination Centre scoured the surrounding Revelstoke area for the white-and-burgundy Mooney aircraft but were unable to find anything.

The JRCC suspended their search on Dec. 4, but the family acquired permits to have drones search the area where Neron’s cellphone last pinged.

Thousands of images were taken during the search and one particular photograph from Dec. 11 stood out to the family.

“We’ve been looking and looking and something just popped out to us,” said Carol Barnes, Bourgeault’s cousin.

The family believes the word “help” or “here” was written in the snow and that there is visible plane wreckage just to the left of the words in the photo.

“We are not sure but… there is something that definitely looks like a propeller and it looks like wreckage under the tree,” Barnes said.

The coordinates of the image are taken from 51°15'21.3"N 117°36’47.9"W and they believe the plane could be on Cougar Mountain.

“It does fall within the path,” Barnes said. “We are just hopeful this is where they are and it is the end of it.”

Bourgeault has three children who were staying with her sister Samantha McClellan when the two vanished.

McClellan said her sister had said the weather was rough on the way down in Penticton and if they were in that kind of situation again they would be stopping.

“It’s nice to have a bit of hope,” she said. “The kids need closure.”

A GoFundMe account was created to fund ongoing search efforts.

Barnes said RCMP, the JRCC and Revelstoke Search and Rescue crews are on standby, as weather has prevented further searching. 

More Penticton News