Missing Bankend girl found by search party

A missing 11-year-old girl from Bankend was found in a frozen slough, face down in the snow but alive.

The girl was transported by emergency medical services to the hospital in Wynyard to treat hypothermia and injuries related to exposure.

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It was 5:13 pm Jan. 10 when one of her parents called the Wynyard RCMP to report that she had gone missing.

The mother had been away from their Bankend home, while the 11-year-old girl was home sick. It was believed the girl left on her own sometime between 3 and 5 pm.

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.  Emergency medical services were 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 four miles west of Bankend, where the girl was found.

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