The RCMP have wrapped up their search of a rural property near Salmon Arm that began three weeks ago and resulted in the discovery of human remains, fuelling speculation about whether the case was connected with a number of missing women in the area.
To date, the RCMP have confirmed a connection to only one person, Traci Genereaux, 18, and the investigation into her death continues. The force isn't saying what else, if anything, they uncovered during the search.
In a statement Thursday, RCMP spokesman Corporal Dan Moskaluk said the property had been turned over to the owners as of midday Thursday and asked the media and general public to respect the owners' property and privacy.
The search took place at a farm in a scenic, rural area about an hour's drive east of Kamloops. According to land records, the 10-hectare Silver Creek property belongs to Evelyn and Wayne Sagmoen. It had been the site of a sizable search since Oct. 19, when the Vernon North Okanagan RCMP announced they were conducting a search of a Salmon River Road property.
Over the next few days, police brought heavy equipment to the site and set up tents on the property.
On Oct. 21, police announced that human remains had been located at the rural property.
On Nov. 1, police confirmed those remains were those of Ms. Genereaux, a teenager who disappeared from Vernon this spring.
Ms. Genereaux, who would have turned 19 in October, was last seen on May 29 getting into a white Chevy van near a bottle depot in Vernon.
At least five women have gone missing in the region since the beginning of 2016. Once the search of the farm was under way, there was speculation that it could be related to some or all of those disappearances.
Police say the search resulted in the remains of one person being found, those of Ms. Genereaux.
Cpl. Moskaluk declined to provide any more details about what was or was not found at the site.
"It's hard for me to quantify that or give a response on that – I've been advised that the search has been completed and that the investigation that relates to that search is ongoing," Cpl. Moskaluk said.
One of the Sagmoens' sons, Curtis Wayne Sagmoen, 36, was charged Oct. 17 with six offences related to alleged gun threats against a sex worker.
The six charges related to the Aug. 27 offence are: disguising face with intent to commit offence; intentionally discharging a firearm while reckless; uttering threats; careless use or storage of a firearm; pointing a firearm; and possessing a weapon for dangerous purpose.
Mr. Sagmoen also faces one drug-possession charge related to a Sept. 5 incident.
He has not been charged in connection with the human remains discovered at the farm.
Mr. Sagmoen appeared briefly before a judge via teleconference at the Vernon Law Courts last Thursday; a publication ban protects the identity of the alleged victim. He was remanded into custody and the matter was adjourned until Nov. 23.
Ms. Genereaux led a sometimes troubled lifestyle and had struggled with depression and substance use from an early age. Friends and relatives also remember her as a vibrant, resilient person who was trying to turn her life around.