An Enderby woman with dementia found dead near Merritt last Wednesday likely succumbed to hypothermia after leaving her vehicle, which was stuck in the snow on a logging road near Douglas Lake Road.

The body of Barbra Derenowski was discovered along the side of a logging road that afternoon by several people who were in the Salmon Lake area to fish.

The discovery was reported to Merritt RCMP, who located the body.

The 73-year-old went missing from her home on March 2 at about 2:30 p.m. after her care worker dropped her off there.

Derenowski lived alone and it appears that she got into her 1998 Ford pickup and drove away.

She ended up driving along a logging road off of Douglas Lake Road and police believe she exited her vehicle and walked away after getting her pickup stuck in snow.

Police found her footprints, and she was located 17 kilometres away from her vehicle.

“She had been walking for a while,” RCMP Staff Sgt. Sheila White said.

Derenowski was likely unfamiliar with the area as it appeared as though she had been trying to turn the truck around when she got it stuck, White told the Herald.

Derenowski had been walking back the way she came before it’s believed she collapsed on the roadway where she was found, White said.

She was wearing a light sweater and sneakers at the time of her death.

She didn’t have a valid driver’s licence.

Derenowski had family living in the Lower Mainland and Salmon Arm who have been notified, White said.