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Mounties say that nearly a year after her disappearance in the area of Sooke Potholes on Vancouver Island, the body of hiker Melissa McDevitt has been found.
The 38-year-old woman was reported missing on Dec. 12, 2022. An extensive search of the area turned up empty at the time, and a renewed search this summer was also unsuccessful.
RCMP spokesperson Alex Bérubé confirmed to VictoriaNow that McDevitt was found on Dec. 6 in an area of thick vegetation by a group of volunteer hikers called "Mindful of Melissa." The hikers then notified the Sooke RCMP of the discovery.
Police said that, although a full determination has yet to be made, they do not believe that criminality was involved in her death. The BC Coroners Service has been notified, and is also investigating.
“The RCMP offers its condolences to the family and friends of the deceased,” the RCMP stated.
After she was reported missing, McDevitt’s vehicle was found in the Charters River/Hatchery parking lot on Sooke River Road on Dec. 10, 2022. She was supposed to travel from Victoria to Vancouver and board a flight, but never arrived at the ferry terminal or the airport.
The last known sighting of the hiker was footage recovered from the parking lot, where she is seen entering a trail.
Search and Rescue teams from across the region and the province showed up to help look for her. A total of 170 members from 17 teams were present over one weekend to join the search.