A gruesome discovery in a vacant home on the Nak’azdli First Nation reserve in northern B.C. has led to criminal charges against four people.
The severed head of Fribjon Bjornson, 28, a father of two young children, was found inside the abandoned home near Fort St. James, about 80 kilometres northwest of Prince George.
Some of the charges hint at what happened to Bjornson. Jesse Bird and James Charlie are accused of offering an indignity to human remains.
Wesley Duncan is charged with second-degree murder in Bjornson’s death.
Bird and a woman, 21-year-old Teresa Charlie, have been charged with being an accessory after the fact to murder.
Bjornson disappeared in January, 2012. He was last spotted in his hometown of Vanderhoof, about 30 kilometres south of Fort St. James.
His Chevy pickup truck was found near Fort St. James days later and the next month, Bjornson’s head was found in the house, RCMP Const. Lesley Smith said in an interview Monday.
Because the investigation is still going on, Smith could not say if the rest of the man’s body was recovered.
“The investigation is still very active,” she said. “There may still be more arrests and charges coming forward.”
During a news conference in March, 2012, police said Bjornson had struggled with illegal drug use and may have associated with people who lived a high-risk lifestyle.
At that same news conference, Bjornson’s mother, Eileen, made a plea for more information that she hoped would lead to the killer or killers of her son.
“How could somebody do something so horrible to him, or anyone? Every time we thought it couldn’t get any worse, it has,” she said.
“What are we going to tell his children? How will we explain to them what happened to their daddy, when we don’t understand it ourselves?”
On Monday, Smith said investigators were helped by residents of Fort St. John, where all the accused live.
“It’s due to those hard efforts of those members as well as the co-operation with the community that we’ve been able to identify these individuals and charge them with this horrific crime.”
She said police worked closely with the Bjornson family during the investigation.
“Hopefully these arrests and these charges – I know they can’t bring Fribjon back – but hopefully it gives them some sort of closure. I know they’ve been living a nightmare.”
The four accused appeared in court on Monday and were expected to remain in custody.