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Teen missing in BC provincial park for 2 days found safe

The search for a teenager who went missing in Golden Ears Provincial Park while on a group hike earlier this week has come to a positive conclusion.

Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue confirmed to NowMedia Friday morning that Esther Wang has been found and is safe.

Search team manager Ryan Smith credited the teen's physical fitness and planning, as well as good weather, for her safe return home.

"Esther did take precautions. She did have food and water. She did appear to stop and then think, orientate herself and planned accordingly," Smith told a news conference Friday, calling her "a very determined young lady."

"It took quite a while to get out, but she is out and she’s safe, which is the best outcome we could hope for."

<who>Photo Credit: RCMP/Golden Ears Provincial Park

The RCMP have now confirmed that Wang walked out of the East Canyon trail, the same trail she went missing on, around 9:30 pm Thursday, 54 hours after the whole ordeal started. She went home with her family after a medical assessment.

Supt. Wendy Mehat said the girl was unharmed "apart from some mosquito bites." Authorities have not yet spoken to the girl in depth, but intend to start gathering facts.

The 16-year-old became separated from her small hiking group on Tuesday and it quickly triggered a significant search effort in the massive provincial park just north of Maple Ridge.

Police had said the group hiked the East Canyon Trail to Steve’s Lookout and left around 2:45 pm to head back to their campground.

But 15 minutes after departing the area, the group leader realized that Wang had become separated from the group.

They immediately began to look for her, even returning to the top of the viewpoint, but the teen was nowhere to be found.

The group leader then headed to the entrance of the trail to find a park ranger, who called police.

According to the RCMP, 16 teams from across the region were involved in the search that lasted a little over two days.

"We used as many resources as we could," noted Smith. "I’d like to thank our partner organizations, the RCMP, other first responders, the helicopter companies that assisted us in this exhaustive search."

With files from the Canadian Press.

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