BRITISH COLUMBIA

Heather Thompson, Daughter Erika Found Near Powell River

10/25/2012 01:46 EDT | Updated 12/25/2012 05:12 EST
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UPDATE - 12:03 p.m. PT: The missing mom and toddler have been found -- cold and tired -- but safe.

POWELL RIVER, B.C. - An air and ground search is underway for a mother and her toddler after they failed to return from a mushroom-picking trip in the back country outside Powell River, B.C.

RCMP Chris Bakker said 31-year-old Heather Thompson set out in her van with her 20-month-old daughter Erica at about 10 a.m. Wednesday.

He said their van was discovered around 9 p.m., about 10 kilometres east of Powell River, but the search was called off until conditions improved Thursday.

Powell River Search and Rescue resumed the search at about 7 a.m. and were joined by RCMP Air Services from Vancouver.

Bakker said the temperature may have dipped to as low as 1 degree overnight.

"It's a forested area. There are peaks and valleys and changes in elevation," he said.

"She was an experienced mushroom picker but I don't know if she was prepared to stay overnight or what she had with her when she went up yesterday."

Bakker said police found Thompson's purse and cell phone in the van, and there was no note to indicate where she was going.