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Hypothermia suspected in death of Tofino woman found after heavy storm

“She was always a friendly person and she was a good person. It’s a sad thing.”
Shannon Boothman, pictured here with her beloved dog Itska in 2020, is believed to have died of hypothermia in Tofino early Sunday morning.

Foul play is not suspected in the death of a Tofino woman who is believed to have died of hypothermia early Sunday morning.

Shannon Boothman is believed to have been walking to a friend’s house during a heavy storm in Tofino on Saturday night and was discovered deceased in the early morning hours Sunday.

“Based on the preliminary investigation, the death was deemed non-suspicious and the coroner has taken conduct of the matter, as is the usual practice involving non suspicious deaths,” Tofino RCMP detachment commander Sgt. Colin Douglas confirmed in an email to the Westerly News.

Shannon’s father Ed Boothman told the Westerly that police called he and his wife’s home around 3 a.m. to advise the parents of the tragedy and he shared a letter he has sent to the Tofino RCMP detachment thanking a local officer for his professionalism.

“I understand he was off duty and we were so impressed at how he handled the call. He was patient and understanding and had much to say to give us comfort,” Boothman wrote. “Hats off to the great way this was handled by our RCMP.”

A memorial for Shannon was held at the Tofino Legion on Wednesday morning, organized by her friend John Enns.

“We want people who cared about her and want to express their appreciation for her life to come and we will give them an opportunity to speak. I’m expecting that there might be quite a few,” Enns told the Westerly. “I loved that gal. She was a good friend, always gave me a hug and she tried to do her best…It’s a hard time for a lot of us.”

He added Boothman had lived in Tofino for over 10 years and organizing the memorial shed light on just how well-liked she was in the community.

“She was a very giving person, very generous, very caring. She was really genuinely caring about people and animals,” he said. “The people who have been here for a while, they’re sad. She was always a friendly person and she was a good person. It’s a sad thing.”

Ed Boothman said he would not be able to travel to Tofino, but shared a letter he had sent to be read during the memorial, explaining that Shannon’s love of animals and nature began early in her childhood and stayed with her.

“Our family loved nature and we were camping at least every other weekend while she was growing up. I am sure this had a lot of influence on her love of nature,” he wrote. “She discovered the beauty of our west coast and was soon living there. As her father, I told her I admired her living in Canada’s paradise.”

He thanked the community for loving his daughter.

“I am not sure any of us could have done much to change this but on behalf of our family, I would like to thank everyone in the community who was there to help her and give her their love and understanding,” he wrote.

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READ MORE: Itska back in owner’s arms after Oak Bay man returns dog taken from Tofino

Andrew Bailey

About the Author: Andrew Bailey

I arrived at the Westerly News as a reporter and photographer in January 2012.
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