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Body of missing Nelson woman recovered from ravine below Cottonwood Creek spillway

Nelson Search and Rescue, Nelson Fire Rescue Service, the Ministry of Transportation and BC Ambulance Service aided Nelson Police in recovering the body of a missing Nelson woman last Thursday from near the Cottonwood Creek Canyon. — The Nelson Daily photo

The body of a woman missing since December 1, 2019, has been found Nelson Police said in a media release Tuesday.

Nelson Police said the body of the woman, identified as Heather Gunderson, was recovered from a ravine below the spillway in Cottonwood Creek by Nelson Search and Rescue, Nelson Fire Rescue Thursday, February 20. Police blocked the exit lane from Highway 3A heading south to Highway 6 to execute the recovery late Thursday afternoon.

Police reported Gunderson was missing after the Department received a report that the Nelson woman had not been seen for a number of days. 

“As a result of this report members of the Nelson Police Department opened a missing person file,” the NPD media release said. “The many investigative steps that were taken to locate Heather Gunderson were not successful until February 20.”

After receiving a tip from the public, an officer was able to locate objects belonging to Gunderson near the Cottonwood Creek Canyon. 

“Nelson Police Department requested assistance of Nelson Search and Rescue, Nelson Fire Rescue Service, the Ministry of Transportation and the BC Ambulance Service to search the ravine below the spillway in Cottonwood Creek,” NPD said.

“As a result of this search a female body was recovered.”

Police said R.C.M.P. Forensic Identification Services were able to assist the Nelson Police Department and the BC Coroners Service to identify the body as Heather Gunderson. 

“At this point in time there is no evidence to indicate that Heather Gunderson died as a result of a crime,” NPD said. “The Nelson Police Department will continue to assist the BC Coroners Service and gather evidence.”