Yesterday afternoon at 5:13 pm, a parent called the Wynyard RCMP to report that their 11-year-old daughter was not at home and was believed to have left the residence on her own sometime between 3 and 5 pm. The mother had been away from the Bankend residence, while the 11-year-old was home sick. When the mother returned home, there were tracks in the snow leaving the residence. After following the tracks as far as she could and checking with neighbours, the mother called police for assistance.
The Wynyard RCMP quickly mobilized a search team with assistance from Punnichy RCMP, Wadena RCMP, Conservation officers, a volunteer firefighter from Wishart, and Saskatchewan Highway Patrol while Saskatchewan Search and Rescue and a RCMP Police Dog were mobilizing to the area. STARS was also called to assist as darkness and temperatures were falling and it was starting to snow in the area. EMS was staging in Bankhead to respond if the child was located.
The search had been underway for approximately two hours when a local volunteer located a set of footprints just outside the search area and followed the track in a 4X4 truck across an open field. The track continued through light bush towards a frozen slough were they located the girl collapsed face down in the snow, but still alive. She was transported to EMS and then to hospital in Wynyard to be treated for hypothermia and injuries related to exposure.
She was located approximately 4 miles west of Bankend. Stars was not used as the child was located before they arrived.
The RCMP would like to thank all of the volunteers and first responders in the area for their quick response in this matter.