Unique searchers recover Terrace, B.C. drowning victim using sonar equipment

The body of Jody Frocklage was found May 25 after six days of searching by Gene and Sandy Ralston

Sandy and Gene Ralston with their boat containing sophisticated sonar equipment used for deep water searches. The Idaho couple last week found the body of a woman missing in Kalum Lake since December of last year.

A family has a sense of closure with the discovery of a woman’s body in Kalum Lake after she went missing late last year.

The body of Jody Frocklage, 43, was found May 25 after six days of searching by Gene and Sandy Ralston, who came here two weeks ago to assist the family with continued search efforts on Kalum Lake.

The Ralstons, who are from Idaho, have spent many years doing non-profit, sonar-assisted underwater search and recovery, only charging for their expenses.

Dwayne Sheppard of Terrace Search and Rescue and water rescue assisted the Ralstons with recovery of the body and said they are “a professional couple, very dedicated to their cause.”

“It was an honour to work with them and I believe Terrace owes them an honour of gratitude for bringing closure to the search,” said Sheppard.

Terrace RCMP said police found no evidence of foul play and will be assisting the coroner in further investigation.

On Dec. 21, 2014 at 9 p.m. police received a report that Frocklage was missing and officers found her truck that evening parked at the Kalum Lake boat launch, said police at that time.

Search and Rescue found her canoe on Kalum Lake in the early morning hours of Dec. 22.

Search efforts included using a local helicopter, a police service dog and the assistance of members of Terrace Search and Rescue.

The search was called off Dec. 24 when all search options had been exhausted.

Gene Ralston said they found Frocklage on the sixth day of searching, although it could’ve been longer as searches can take as long 30 days.

They had started their search in the centre of the lake, then went west, and then searched the shoreline, he said.

Once her sister said that she liked to go straight across the lake to get to where she was going as fast as possible, they searched to the south and found her 400 feet under the water, he said.

Frocklage is the 99th person they’ve found and Gene had told his wife he’d stop at 100.

And that could happen quite quickly: Gene said when they returned to Terrace after the search and had internet service again, they had received a message asking them to come to Idaho to search for two missing people.

Earlier this year, Simonne Reiter, Frocklage’s sister, started a drive to bring the Ralstons here to search for her sister, asking people to donate either by mailing a cheque to the Knights of Columbus Charitable Foundation or donating on its website.