‘We want to bring closure’: Searchers try to beat snowstorm to find missing Cape Breton senior
RCMP and volunteer search and rescue personnel spent Wednesday trying to find any sign of a missing Cape Breton senior before an impending snowstorm hits the region.
Susan Bain, 79, hasn't been seen since taking her dog for a walk near her Middle River home on Dec. 3.
The dog returned home but so far, efforts to locate Bain have been unsuccessful.
Last week, searchers were battling snow squalls trying to find her. This week, efforts were suspended for two days due to heavy rain that soaked the area.
With a clear sky and ground Wednesday, searchers were hopeful that the weather was finally cooperating, before the next storm moves in.
"Now that we have bare ground, it might be easier to find her,” said Paul Vienneau, a search manager with Cape Breton Search and Rescue. "All the snow is gone up in this area. Now we have some probable areas that we're trying to cover before the impending snow storm tonight."
RCMP said the plan was to search until shortly after dark Wednesday.
There was some worry that if the heavy snow forecast for the area sticks around, Wednesday could be the last chance to search bare ground for a long time.
"Time is really not always on our side,” said RCMP Cpl. Chris Marshall. "There's always concern when we do get a dumping of snow, especially in Cape Breton. Those kinds of areas do tend to be more rugged. The terrain is less even, so it's harder for the snow to melt, and the ground does freeze a little sooner. But again, it's something we're going to continue to review day by day."
As a helicopter combed the woods and the water, including where a bridge washed out near the missing woman's home, searchers admitted the chances of finding Bain alive are diminishing.
"We want to bring closure to the family one way or the other,” Vienneau said. “And once the snow comes, it's going to be harder."
RCMP said they plan to reassess search efforts once the snowstorm is over.