Today 19 November 2009 Police have reportedly found the remains of a Russian migrant who disappeared while tramping 11 months ago in the Southern Alps. (Irina is actually of Kazakh nationality, who was iving in Auckland with her 4 year old daughter Liann when she went missing)
.An extensive search was made for Irina Yun, 36 when she was first reported missing and it continued some weeks later..
Police say a search and rescue dog handler from Oxford, Dave Krehic returned to the area on last week and conducted a private search with his dog Stig.
They subsequently located a femur and pelvis bone in the river bed wedged in between some rocks approximately three kilometres down stream of the Dart Hut.
A view of Mount Aspiring from near Cascade Saddle, the pass Irina crossed.
The Dunedin Coroner, an anthropologist and pathologist have examined the remains and have been able to confirm that the remains are that of Ms Yun.
Her next of kin have been advised.
Missing tramper's daughter Liann, 4, waits for her Mother.
When Irina went missing, I was recovering from an operation in Christchurch and got quite involved in the incident. Irina is from Kazakhstan, as is my wife. A sort of solidarity started.
Irina Yun's ex-parttner Oleg corresponded with me. especially when the newspapers got her nationality wrong. He said:
She is not Uzbek - she is what we call a "Russian Korean". Her grandparents were expelled from Korean border into Kazakhi desert in winter by Chairman Stalin 70 years ago. And they survived there - with no shelters at all!
Friday 20 November 2009
I include an update i got from the Otago Daily Times written by By Marjorie Cook:
Search dog handler Dave Krehic's determination to find the remains of missing Auckland tramper Irina Yun (36) paid off last weekend, when his privately organised search party, including his German short- haired pointer Stig, found bones in the Dart River, about 3km-4km below the Dart Hut.
Ms Yun had been missing in the Mt Aspiring National Park since late December last year.
Southern region coroner David Crerar yesterday confirmed anthropologists and pathologists Prof John Dennison, Dr Martha Nicholson and Dr Hannah Thorne had examined and ascertained the remains were "those of Irina Yun".
Further tests would be undertaken, but Ms Yun's family had been advised Ms Yun was now considered deceased.
An inquest would be held next year, Mr Crerar said.
Ms Yun, an immigrant from Kazakhstan, disappeared in a storm on December 31, while tramping the Cascade Saddle between the Aspiring and Dart Huts.
LandSar Wanaka volunteers spent 350 hours combing the exposed and difficult high country on the route, as well as gullies, river beds and gorges in the immediate area.
A tramping pack positively identified as belonging to Ms Yun was found in a gorge area of the Dart River, below the Dart Hut, on January 5.
Damage to the pack made it clear it had been torn from its wearer with considerable force and had been in the water for some time, Sergeant Aaron Nicholson said yesterday.
The search was called off because it was believed Ms Yun had been subjected to the force of the flooded Dart River and unable to survive it.
Mr Krehic, a Christchurch auto electrician and member of the Oxford search and rescue team, and Stig (8) were involved in the official search in January.
"The family didn't know, but it was of interest to me. I come from that background of being outdoors. And I met her friends at the search and wanted to do something for them," Mr Krehic said.
Mr Krehic, Stig, alpine cliff rescue specialist Masa Sato of Christchurch and Queenstown white water rescue team members Andy Pedley and Mat McLeod began their search last Friday.
They found bones, including a femur and pelvis bone, trapped between large boulders on Saturday, and police retrieved the items on Sunday.
The team also found some shorts, jandals and pieces of a pack cover nearby.
Ownership of those items has not yet been confirmed.
Mr Krehic said he did quite a bit of research before returning to the Dart River.
The rough terrain in the rocky gorge below the Dart Hut contained boulders the size of trucks, and specialist skills were needed to get through it.
The water levels were lower last weekend than in January, but the terrain was still particularly difficult for Stig, who at times had to wear a harness for his safety.
"Without Stig, we wouldn't have found them [Ms Yun's remains]. He showed some interest in an area and I asked Maso and Matt to investigate the area . . .
"He [Stig] was well worn out after two days in the gorge. We were pushing him into cracks and holes and tunnel systems that the river makes its way through in flood . . .
"But we treated him just like any other team member, which was safety first," Mr Krehic said.
On Saturday, the day of the discovery, the team started its search about 7km below Dart Hut and worked its way back up.
Within 2km the team had found the personal items, and Ms Yun's remains were found another 1km up.
Mr Krehic said he and his team-mates were prepared to pay for last weekend's search themselves, but he understood police and LandSar New Zealand were now considering helping out with helicopter expenses.
Ms Yun's ex-husband, Oleg Amiton, of Auckland, said, when contacted yesterday, the discovery provided some closure for him.
A memorial service had been held earlier in the year, he said.
Their 4-year-old daughter Liann was getting a lot of attention from himself, her grandmother and friends, and was doing well, he said.
Now this news is out, my thoughts and prayers are with Irina's daughter Liann and her Dad Oleg. May God comfort you and may Irina rest in peace. I know the area well and couldn't think of a better place for ones spirit to rest in peace.
I salute Dave Krehic, and his dog Stig, for an amazing rescue. Dave is one of those hardy and caring outdoorsmen who deserves the highest praise for helping a grieving familiy find closure, and to solve another NZ alpine mystery.
If you would like to view some of Irina's photography, click on this website: