March 11, 2015 - 1:02 PM
KAMLOOPS – A body found in the Thompson River last week was that of a woman who went missing more than three months ago, according to her best friend and the B.C. Coroner's Service.
Megan Latchford says the family of 33-year-old Deseree Smith was given the news by the B.C. Coroners Service Tuesday night, five days after the body was found on a sandbar in the Thompson River just west of the city around three kilometres from the airport.
“She was a beautiful woman. She was an amazing mother to her daughter. She was an amazing friend," Latchford says. "If you were hurting, she could definitely bring a smile to your face in a heartbeat.”
According to Latchford Smith was last seen alive by pastors from her church on Nov. 22. A missing persons report was officially filed with the RCMP on Dec. 2. She adds she knew her friend was involved in drugs, but had kept in contact with friends until she went missing.
“I never judged her, I just loved her,” she says.
Latchford says waiting for answers about Smith has been difficult.
“It’s been torment. We have lived with hope that she was still alive, that she had just went down to Surrey – because that’s where my husband and I picked her up from in July,” she says. “We were just staying positive, but at the same time it was torture and torment because our minds would race and think the worst of thoughts – is she alive? Is she dead? Is she captive? Who knows?”
Latchford says while the discovery of the body has given some closure, they are still waiting for answers on how she died. The B.C. Coroner's Service confirmed foul play has been ruled out as a cause of death.
“The coroner has to do this investigation and an autopsy report. They’ve just identified the body. It’s open-ended,” she says.
Latchford says she and Smith’s family are planning to hold a celebration of life for Smith within the month.
B.C. Corner's Service has confirmed the identity of the deceased.
-This story was edited at 1:35 p.m. to include information that B.C. Coroner's Service has not confirmed the identity.
-This story was edited at 2:16 p.m. to include information that B.C. Coroners Service confirmed the identity and foul play ruled out as a cause of death.
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