ASOTIN COUNTY - On Monday, May 4 at approximately 6 p.m., the Asotin County Sheriff’s Office was notified of an overdue mushroom hunter in the area of West Mountain Road in Anatone. According to the information, 38-year-old Shea M. Austin and her father William J. Austin were picking mushrooms in the area and were to meet back up at 3:30 pm. After Shea failed to arrive, William alerted the sheriff’s office.
The Asotin County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue unit was mobilized to the area to begin searching for Shea. A request for assistance was made to the Nez Perce County Sheriff’s Office Mechanized Posse to aid in the search. Volunteers from both agencies worked through the night searching the area but did not locate Shea.
On the morning of Tuesday May 5, further assistance was provided by the Nez Perce County Sheriff’s Mounted Posse as well as the Nez Perce County Sheriff’s Air Posse. Assistance was also provide by the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office who sent AIR 1, a helicopter that is equipped with a FLIR unit.
After approximately 45 minutes, AIR 1 located Shea on Bennet Ridge Road where she had built a signal fire. She was found to be in good health and good spirits and she was reunited with her family.