Current Conditions

Light Rain

Family of man presumed drowned in Kalamalka Lake desperate for answers

Curtis Wilson, 24, was last seen Saturday, June 27. He was with a man who later turned up dead in Kal Lake.
Image Credit: Contributed
July 09, 2015 - 9:00 PM

VERNON - The family of a missing man presumed drowned in Kalamalka Lake is raising funds to continue the search for their loved one by hiring a specialized team.

Police dive teams spent multiple days unsuccessfully scouring the lake and surrounding area for Curtis Wilson, who has been missing for nearly two weeks now. RCMP spokesperson Gord Molendyk says the teams have exhausted the search to the best of their capabilities and no further dives are planned. Police and Search and Rescue spent days searching by ground, air, and water and while investigators continue to follow up on tips that suggest he may be elsewhere, Molendyk says the RCMP ‘still believe everything points to him being in Kalamalka Lake.’

Those aren't easy words for Curtis’ sister Shanna Wilson to hear. She still holds out hope he is alive.

“Even though I know how confident (RCMP) are, I still can’t accept that unless I know myself for sure, without a doubt,” she says.

That’s why her family has decided to bring in the assistance of Gene and Sandy Ralston, a couple from Idaho who use sonar equipment to search for drowning victims. Over the past 14 years, the Ralstons have recovered the remains of 98 people when others could not. 

“I completely understand that the RCMP feel they have exhausted their resources,” Shanna says. “The sooner I can get the money together (to hire the Ralstons), the sooner I can have them come here, the sooner my family can have closure.”

The Ralstons are a not-for profit operation, but do ask for compensation for travel, accommodation and fuel expenses. A Go Fund Me page has been established to help the Wilson family raise enough money to bring them to Vernon. It’s difficult to say how much the service will cost because the Ralston’s search could last days, but Shanna says any and all donations, and even Facebook shares, are appreciated. Any funds left over will be donated to the Ralstons’ charities.

The situation has taken a heavy toll on the Wilson family, many of whom travelled to Vernon to help look for Curtis. But Shanna says the worst part is not knowing for sure what happened to him.

“Every day I am wondering if he did get out somehow. I’ve thought up crazy circumstances that are totally unreal. I just can’t let go of that hope,” Shanna says.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at or call 250-309-5230. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.  

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

  • Popular kelowna News
  • Comments
  • Warnings about fentanyl-laced marijuana in the Southern Interior
    THOMPSON-OKANAGAN – Fentanyl is being mixed with marijuana here in the Southern Interior, leading the Kamloops ASK Wellness Society to be even more concerned about the rise of deaths related
  • Kelowna Conservation Officers save large buck tangled in volleyball net
    KELOWNA - Conservation Officers reportedly came to the rescue of a large buck that was entangled in a volleyball net, according to a Facebook post by the Conservation Officer Service "D
  • Kamloops senior almost swindled out of $4,800
    KAMLOOPS - Yesterday, a Kamloops senior had a close call with a pair of brazen scam artists. Staff Sgt. Edward Preto says in a release that yesterday, Oct. 21, an elderly woman received a ph
  • Saying goodbye to Kelowna’s perogy king
    KELOWNA – Whether you knew him from the slopes of Big White or his restaurant in downtown Kelowna, you never forgot the first time you tried Cecil’s perogies. Cecil Warwaruk move
  • Crews respond to fire at Kelowna casino
    KELOWNA - This morning, firefighters responded to a minor fire at Chances on Springfield Road. According to a release issued by Dennis Miller of the Kelowna Fire Department, crews received a

View Site in: Desktop | Mobile