Penticton woman’s discovery ‘nothing short of a miracle’

Hunters have found Rita Chretien, a Penticton woman who went missing seven weeks ago with her husband Al Chretien

Hunters have found Rita Chretien, a Penticton woman who went missing seven weeks ago with her husband Al Chretien.

The Penticton couple were travelling to Las Vegas and crossed the U.S. border on March 19. A convenience store security camera video confirmed the couple entered a store in Baker City, Oregon on March 19 around 2:45 p.m. — it was also the last place their credit card was used.

RCMP, Nevada State Police and Baker City Police confirmed Rita Chretien was found alive Friday by hunters in Alco County, Nevada. The hunters found the woman by the van the couple had been travelling in, which got stuck off-road.

“She survived essentially on water for seven weeks,” said Cpl. Dan Moskaluk in an interview with the Penticton Western News via Skype, adding she was air-lifted to a medical facility.

The whereabouts of Al Chretien still are unknown and Moskaluk said the information regarding how their vehicle got stuck off-road is still unknown. The Elko Daily Free Press has reported sheriff’s detective Sgt. Kevin McKinney said a couple out riding four-wheelers spotted the couple’s van in a ravine about nine miles from Rowland, which is on the edge of the Humboldt National Forest.

“Nothing short of a miracle,” tweeted Cpl. Dan Moskaluk. “Al walked away from the van on the 22nd. Search on for him.”

Moskaluk said Penticton RCMP received information around 4 p.m. that a group of hunters came across Rita Chretien at her vehicle which was stuck on a forest service road away from the main highway.

“Rita was conscious and able to speak with rescuers and relay info on who she was. They did get stuck on March 19, the same day of the video footage that showed them in Baker City. They both remained at the vehicle for a few days and Al left on March 22 to summons help and has not been seen since,” said Moskaluk.

Raymond Chretien, the couple’s son, and his wife Jen were told by investigators that their mother was found alive as soon as police confirmed it was her.

“Jen and Raymond did get to speak with her on the telephone and are on their way to see her in Nevada,” said Moskaluk.

Just Posted

RCMP thanked the public for assistance in finding Benjamin Archie, last seen in Princeton. (RCMP)
Missing Chilliwack man found safe and sound

The 80-year-old had walked away from his home in Chilliwack

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Her death is considered a homicide and connected to the slain brothers found on a Naramata forest road. (Submitted)
Naramata community in shock as condolences pour in for homicide victim Kathy Richardson

Richardson was well liked in the community, a volunteer firefighter with a home-based salon

Princeton GSAR responds 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In 2020 the crew was called out 34 times, and members spent 721 hours on calls, and 683 hours training. Photo Princeton GSAR Facebook
Teen missing in Manning Park found after 24 hours

Young man spends night on mountain and survives with just a few scrapes

The RCMP are asking for assistance regarding the death of Kathleen Richardson of Naramata, pictured here. Her death is believed to be related to two homicides in Naramata in May. (RCMP)
Suspected Naramata homicide victim identified by police

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday

(File photo)
Reports of aggressive deer in Penticton prompt warning from city

Expect female deer to be more aggressive over the next two months

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Police cars are seen parked outside Vancouver Police Department headquarters on Saturday, January 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver police officer charged with assault during an arrest in 2019

The service has released no other details about the allegations

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen receives medical attention after collapsing during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Denmark soccer player Christian Eriksen collapses during game against Finland

Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system takes Indigenous children from their families

Nathan Watts, a member of the Tseshaht First Nation near Port Alberni, shares his story of substance use, a perspective he said isn’t seen enough. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Watts)
Public shaming, hate perpetuates further substance use: UVic researcher

Longtime addict Nathan Watts offers a user’s perspective on substance use

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Her death is considered a homicide and connected to the slain brothers found on a Naramata forest road. (Submitted)
Condolences pour in for Kathy Richardson, Naramata’s 3rd homicide victim in recent weeks

Richardson was well liked in the community, a volunteer firefighter with a home-based salon

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
More than 75% of B.C. adults have 1st dose of COVID vaccine

The federal government has confirmed a boost in the Moderna vaccine will be coming later this month

Most Read