Sharon Silk – in the centre – is seen here when she and her friend Karen Ramsey received the keys to their new home on Northridge Place, just off Petrolia Line in 2014.
It was the best result possible.
Hours after she went missing, the OPP found Petrolia resident Sharon Silk.
Silk, 39, who is supported by Lambton County Developmental Services and has Down’s Syndrome, had not been seen since Monday afternoon near the Oil Heritage District Community Centre around 3:45 pm. When she didn’t arrive home by 5 pm, staff of LCDS began searching immediately and the OPP was also contacted around 7 pm.
Petrolia/North Enniskillen Fire Chief Lawrence Swift says the fire department was called around 8 pm when the light started to fade. By then, there were hundreds of people – from LCDS staff to people who had heard about the missing woman – already looking for the petite woman with brown hair and glasses. At 10:30pm, a formal search was organized breaking the town up into four sections to coordinate an organized search.
“We brought everyone back to the (Oil Heritage District) Community Centre so we could put in place some sort of command structure,” he told The Independent as searchers continued to stream in to the centre, flashlights in hands ready to search.
Lori Dalley of Petrolia was about to climb into bed when she heard the news of the search and got in her car. “It’s what you do,” she said before heading out.
Sgt. Pete VanderHeide says just before 12:30 am Tuesday, a police officer searching the grounds of Petrolia Discovery heard Silk “screaming.”
VanderHeide says the Canine Unit was called in and she was found – largely unharmed near the creek bed.
Silk lives on Northridge Place just off Petrolia Line on the east side of town. She moved into the home built by Habitat for Humanity with her best friend Karen Ramsey with the assistance of LCDS last year. At this point it is not clear how Silk ended up at Petrolia Discovery.