June: Lacking Kelowna girl ‘wouldn’t have thought twice’ to leap into creek to save lots of canine

In early June, heavy rains and snow melt caused flooding along Mission, Scotty and Mill creeks, closing roads and damaging property.

A state of emergency was declared on June 14. The same day friends of Chelsea Cardno reported her missing after she failed to show up for work.

She was last seen around 8 a.m., June 13, leaving her home on Dougall Road South in the Mission Greenway with her dog JJ.

“If something happened with her dog and that creek, she wouldn’t have even thought twice about jumping in trying to save her dog,” said best friend Josiah Crowell.

Within an hour of her being reported missing, police found her vehicle, and a search was immediately started.

“At the time Chelsea went missing, the water level of Mission Creek was high and fast-moving,” said Kelowna RCMP media relations officer Const. Mike Della-Paolera.

Due to continued rainfall, the search was suspended for several days. When it did resume on Jun. 18, more than 152 members of the public joined family and friends, and Central Okanagan Search and Rescue (COSAR) in the effort to find Chelsea.

On June 19, the search was put on hold again due to weather and fatigue among COSAR members.

“We are in a planning stage now to figure out what our next best option is, what our next best window is to get back into Mission Creek,” explained COSAR search manager Duane Tresnich at the time.

COSAR crews were out searching again a few days later, after the water level in Mission Creek had dropped.

Seven Rescue Canada Swiftwater teams from Grand Forks, Kamloops, Kaslo, Nakusp, Nelson, Penticton, and the Shuswap were also brought in to assist.

It would be the last time Mission Creek would be searched for Chelsea.

The tragic news came on June 24 as Kelowna RCMP reported a farmer had found a body on flooded property in the 3600 block of Bernard Road around 4 p.m. that day.

The next day her mother, Diane, confirmed on Facebook that Chelsea had been found:

“It is with very heavy hearts that we have to announce that we have found our sweet Chelsea. I need to take this time to thank everyone for the outpouring of love and support over the last 11 days.

To all those that came out to help us search, the tireless hours out combing through the brush, walking hours along the Greenway, we left no stone unturned. The community came together to bring my Sweet Pea home, and I will be forever grateful.”

Hundreds of messages of sympathy and support were posted on social media to her family.

Chelsea’s celebration of life was held July 12.

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