Less than a week after their daughter was found alive and well by search crews near Sasamat Lake, Joy Zhang's family is speaking out and offering thanks to those who helped find her.
In a letter released by the Port Moody Police Department Wednesday on behalf of the family, the Zhangs thanked a number of people and agencies involved in the effort to find the 21year-old, who had been missing for 76 hours.
The family thanked the Port Moody Police Department, Port Moody's Victim Services co-ordinator and search and rescue (SAR) teams from Coquitlam, Burnaby, North Vancouver and Surrey.
The letter also thanked the Challenger baseball team, coach John Casey and Rachel Le Nobel, and the extended family members and friends who joined in the search.
"The many members for the public, churches and community at large who joined in walking the trails, in prayers, and brought their homemade food for the searchers and the family," the letter stated.
Zhang, who is mentally challenged, and a friend went missing from the lake in Port Moody Thursday afternoon during an outing with classmates from Douglas College.
The pair somehow became separated, though Zhang's friend Judy was found later that evening.
Zhang was discovered at 4 p.m. Sunday in a dense and steep area by searchers about 600 metres from the Coquitlam Search and Rescue command centre, which was set up at White Pine Beach.
It appeared she had hunkered down for some time about 100 metres off a trail leading to a nearby camp.
At various points during the search, there were about 60 volunteers from the community looking for Zhang, including the baseball team, and another 35 trained SAR members from several organizations.
In the letter, the family thanked Judy, who provided information to searchers who ultimately ended up finding the missing woman, and Connie Deboer, a member of North Shore Rescue, who was the first to reach Zhang in the park. The letter also noted that Zhang was checked into hospital and later released in "remarkably good health and good spirits" and is recovering with her family.