Additional resources added to search of North Okanagan farm where human remains were found - InfoNews

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Additional resources added to search of North Okanagan farm where human remains were found

Police search a property at 2290 Salmon River Rd. on Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017.
October 25, 2017 - 3:59 PM

SILVER CREEK - Police are asking the public to be patient and not speculate on the discovery of human remains at a property in the North Okanagan over the weekend.

“We’re aware of the speculation in the community and in the media around the discovery of the human remains, and them potentially being linked to a number of ongoing missing person investigations,” Cpl. Dan Moskaluk said at a press conference today, Oct. 25.

“Until these remains have been positively identified, it’s too early in the investigation to say whether the discovery is linked or not to any missing persons investigations.”

The police search at 2290 Salmon River Road entered its seventh day today. Numerous officers were seen combing over the property in recent days, assisted last week by the canine unit. The entire property — which is more than 24 acres in size according to police — is encased in yellow police tape. An area at the rear of the farm where officers are working is blocked off with black screens.

Cpl. Moskaluk had little information to share during today’s press conference, except to say that additional resources are being brought in to assist with the search, including members of the forensic evidentiary recovery team.

The large rural property at 2290 Salmon River Rd. is wrapped in police tape, Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017.
The large rural property at 2290 Salmon River Rd. is wrapped in police tape, Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017.

“Given the seriousness that we found human remains on site... we have to conduct a very thorough and efficient investigation,” Moskaluk said. “Again, there’s no timeline as to how long we’re going to be here.”

Moskaluk said police are on site under a warrant that is sealed by the courts.

“Therefore, we’re not able to provide specific details about the search or investigation,” he said.

He said police would not be in a position to comment on whether the human remains belong to one or more people, or who they are, until an autopsy and proper examination is done. He also would not comment on any suspects or what led police to the property in the first place.

Meanwhile, Moskaluk said police have been in contact with the property owners to arrange for the wellbeing of a number of farm animals on site. The animals are expected to be moved away from the property and cared for elsewhere.

MAN CONNECTED TO PROPERTY REMAINS IN CUSTODY

A man associated with the property, Curtis Wayne Sagmoen, born in 1980, is charged in connection to a threats with firearm case that occurred in what police described in a previous release as “the Salmon River Road area.”

In that Aug. 27 incident, a woman told police she was threatened by a man with a gun after arranging a meeting with him on a website used by escorts and sex trade workers. It prompted a warning to the public, and specifically sex trade workers, to take precautions.

Sagmoen’s charges, which were laid Oct. 17 in Vernon Provincial Court, include disguising face with intent to commit an offence, intentionally discharging a firearm while reckless, uttering threats, careless use or storage of a firearm, possessing weapon for a dangerous purpose and possession of a controlled substance. 

He remains in custody and is due for a bail hearing tomorrow, Oct. 26.

Police have not said if Sagmoen or the firearm incident are the focus of the search on Salmon River Road.

Two women who lived on Yankee Flats Road — which runs parallel to Salmon River Road in the community of Silver Creek — went missing last year: Ashley Simpson and Deanna Wertz.

Police have previously said they do not believe foul play is involved in Wertz’s disappearance, but think it may have been involved in Simpson’s.

Another woman, Caitlin Potts, also went missing from the North Okanagan last year. Potts was an escort and vanished at the end of February. Her case is considered a homicide investigation.

Traci Genereaux, a Vernon teen, went missing at the end of May and Nicole Bell in September. Bell was last seen in Sicamous.

Police have not drawn any links between the Salmon River Road search and the missing women.

— This story was updated at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 25, 2017 to add a video. 


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