RCMP change search area for woman who went missing in rural Manitoba after she said SUV hit a tree

The disappearance of Brittany Dawn Storey has so far stumped RCMP, who sent up a drone near the tiny community of Molson, Man., after getting new information about where she might be.

Police use drone as they look for Brittany Dawn Storey in area around Molson, Man.

A woman with blond hair looks to the camera.
Brittany Dawn Storey was on a group video chat with friends on Thursday when she said she hit a tree, RCMP say. Her connection was then lost, and she has not been seen nor heard from since. (Submitted by Manitoba RCMP)

The disappearance of Brittany Dawn Storey has so far stumped RCMP, who sent up a drone near the tiny community of Molson, Man., after getting new information about where she might be.

Storey, 29, was near Rennie, Man., just west of Whiteshell Provincial Park, in a video group chat with friends on Thursday, when she told them she had hit a tree, RCMP said in a news release on Friday.

Her connection was then lost and despite repeated attempts, nobody could reach her on the phone again, the news release said.

Jada Storey, Brittany's younger sister, has told CBC News that people on the video call heard a crash before Storey's screen went blank.

Police have patrolled the area between Rennie and Winnipeg, including back roads, but there has been no sign of Storey or her vehicle — a white 2016 Dodge Journey with Manitoba licence plate LFR 884, RCMP said.

Storey, who also goes by Bridget Valentine on Facebook, didn't show up for work or return to her home in Winnipeg. She also hasn't been active on social media, police said.

In an update on Monday, RCMP said information has led investigators to the Molson, Man., area about 60 kilometres east of Winnipeg.

A drone was used on the area on Sunday and the Civil Air Search and Rescue Association (CASARA) has been in the air, helping with the search, RCMP said.

Family and friends have also been out searching.

Dar-Cee Liang, a friend of Storey, said she has been co-ordinating searches, directing people to locations when tips show up on social media.

"We've had in between three to five vehicles at a time out there," she said, and another friend rounded up people who used several off-road vehicles to search.

"Basically, anyone who could volunteer has been out there, and we have not found a trace of her or her vehicle, whatsoever."

People have also looked around a third location, Reynolds Ponds about 30 km south of Molson, "because there was a sighting of a similar vehicle," Liang said.

There has also been some talk of a sighting in St. Adolphe, which is immediately south of Winnipeg, and possibly around Beausejour just west of Molson, she said.

"Just nothing's panning out, and I think that's the most frustrating thing — the ups and downs. We keep thinking, 'Oh, maybe this is it,' or 'Finally something,' and it's just nothing."

There is also conflicting information about what might have happened.

Liang said different friends have different accounts of how Storey's communications ended and whether she actually hit a tree, and there are also suggestions she might have been with someone else.

The thought has crossed Liang's mind that perhaps Storey doesn't want to be found, but that doesn't really make sense, she said.

'Not like that'

"She's just not like that. She would have told her mom, her sister; she's got a little dog at home and she wouldn't do this. It's really, really, really concerning," said Liang, who last spoke to Storey on Wednesday.

"I didn't even think to ask her, like, what are you doing or anything, you know? Now I really wish I would have."

Storey is described as six feet tall and 130 pounds, with blond hair and blue eyes.

Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to call Whitemouth RCMP at 204-348-2935, or to submit an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online.

With files from Meaghan Ketcheson