A 71-year-old woman who was out foraging for mushrooms in a Northern California forest earlier this month and got separated from her husband and daughter was found dead last week after being missing for two weeks.
The woman, Vana Sisopha of Tacoma, Washington, was in Del Norte County with her husband and 44-year-old daughter on a mushroom-hunting trip. The trio set out on February 3 in the Smith River National Recreation Area near Gasquet, after previously taking a similar trip in the area. That night around 8 p.m., as Bay Area News Group reports, Sisopha's husband reported that both his wife and daughter were missing after they'd become separated in the woods.
A search for the daughter the next afternoon was successful, but she was found suffering from hypothermia.
A subsequent search for Vana Sisopha and the family dog involved "dozens of agencies, some from the Bay Area" as the news group reports, and it included "helicopters, airplanes, drones, dogs and infrared imaging equipment."
Temperatures in the rugged terrain dipped below freezing, and the search had to be called off on February 14 due to a snowstorm. When the search resumed on February 18, the woman's body was found "in a hollow under a log." The Sisophas' dog was never found.
As Wild Rivers Outpost reported, "Sisopha’s family, including her son, Michael Chansavang, and his wife, Esther Chansavang, helped with the search... According to Esther Chansavang, Sisopha and her husband are avid mushroom foragers and have been hunting for them up and down the West Coast for about 20 years. They have visited the Gasquet area about four to five times previously."
Top image: Photos via Redwood Parks Conservancy/Courtesy of the family