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Woman’s tragic death triggers search for camera lost at Whistler

Whistler Blackcomb shared this post by friends of Matt Lorraway and Rebecca Ware.

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Friends of an Australian man who lost a helmet-mounted camera while vacationing in Whistler in February are using Facebook to ask for help in tracking down the camera, which contains the last photographs and video of his recently deceased girlfriend.

Matt Lorraway stayed in Whistler, B.C., with his girlfriend, fellow Australian Rebecca Ware, from Feb. 3 to 17.

Mr. Lorraway had vacationed in Whistler multiple times, and wanted to share his love of the mountain with his girlfriend of two years.

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The night the couple flew back to their hometown of Mackay, on the Queensland coast, Ms. Ware was unexpectedly diagnosed with leukemia.

She died five days later at age 23.

"She was beautiful and bubbly, with a contagious smile," said Amy MacArthur, a close friend of the couple who set up the Facebook page. "We want to find the camera to save memories of her for Matt, but also for all of us who loved her," she said.

The Facebook page, which describes the camera as a GoPro with a Monster energy drink sticker on the back, had been shared more than 3,300 times by Friday afternoon.

Whistler Blackcomb resort also posted Ms. MacArthur's plea on its Facebook fan page.

Ms. MacArthur said that Mr. Lorraway is nearly certain he lost the camera at the base of the mountain when it fell off a snowmobile he was riding, but is unsure of exactly when the camera was dislodged.

Mr. Lorraway reported the camera missing to Whistler Blackcomb's lost and found on Feb. 10.

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"He wasn't worried about it when it happened. He just assumed it was gone," said Ms. MacArthur.

"But after what happened to Rebecca, he realized how important those videos and photos are."

Nate Rigos, communications co-ordinator at Whistler Blackcomb, said the resort is eager to help but wouldn't speculate on the chances that the camera would be returned to Mr. Lorraway.

"Because of the nature of this particular lost-and-found request, we'll do everything we can to help. It's possible that our mountain clean-up crews find it in the spring, after the thaw," Mr. Rigos said.

The lost-and-found department will check photos and videos on cameras that have been returned to try to determine who may have owned the camera.

Nearly three feet of snow has fallen at Whistler Blackcomb since the camera was reported missing, however, so it is unlikely that anyone would dig it out before spring, Mr. Rigos said.

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Back in Mackay, Mr. Lorraway is trying to cope with his grief and has returned to work. "He's trying not to get his hopes up, it will hurt him if it's not found," said Ms. MacArthur. "But I'm hopeful we find it. We've reached out to as many people as possible by using Facebook. So now we'll wait and see."

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