Home-stay family waited three days to report missing woman

photo courtesy rcmp


Ai Ito, 25, an international student from Japan, was last seen Thursday on Blackcomb Mountain. She was reported missing Sunday. The search continues today and RCMP believe she is still in the Whistler area.

« Temperatures up in the alpine have been between -15 C and -20 C.»

The family of a 25-year-old Japanese woman, last seen on Blackcomb Mountain Thursday, is on its way to B.C. today as searchers scour the massive ski hill for their missing loved one.

Fifteen people, along with a pair of helicopters and six dogs, searched Blackcomb yesterday for Ai Ito, an international student.

Ito’s home-stay parents did not report her missing until Sunday.

Rescuers concentrated their efforts on inbound areas, but also checked out-of-bounds where she may have snowboarded by mistake.

"There has been about 40 centimetres of snow in the last three days here," said Const. Afzeel Yakub, a spokesman for the RCMP. "Temperatures up in the alpine have been between -15 C and -20 C."

Ito was last seen Thursday morning alone on Blackcomb Mountain’s Seventh Heaven Chairlift. She was reported missing three days later.

Ito’s family has been informed of the disappearance and are on their way to Whistler.

Steve Haddad, director and owner of International House Whistler, where Ito was studying English, told Metro it’s common for adult students to stay overnight with friends.

"We ask students to notify (their home-stay parents) when they do this. This particular student was staying out overnight without telling them."

He added that for students 19 and older, home-stay parents are only required to provide a single room and meals three-times a day.

from Japan

  • Ito has been in Canada studying English since January and is scheduled to leave in April.

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