Family questions coroner's report labelling Vernon deaths as suicide pact - InfoNews

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Family questions coroner's report labelling Vernon deaths as suicide pact

Shane Letkeman, 32, was found dead in Kalamalka Lake Sunday, June 28, 2015.
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July 13, 2016 - 8:21 AM

VERNON - The deaths of two people last summer, one of whom was found in Kal Lake, were part of a suicide pact, according to a report released this week by the B.C. Coroners Service.

Shane Allan Letkeman, 32, of Lethbridge, was found June 28 by a paddle boarder in the Cosens Bay area, states a report into his death.

Another man, Curtis Wilson, also from Lethbridge, was reported missing shortly after Letkeman’s body was found and is presumed drowned in Kal Lake. Wilson’s name does not appear in the report, although the coroner makes reference to a man who was with Letkeman at the time, and whose body has not been found.

Coroner Margaret Janzen says the investigation revealed Letkeman and the other man had formed a suicide pact. She says Letkeman and the other man sent messages to family and friends alluding to suicide, saying goodbye and they they loved them. These messages were reported to the RCMP by family members, Janzen says.

The report goes on to say that a rental car linked to Letkeman and the other man was found near a camp where the men’s cell phones were found. Letkeman’s phone was broken, but review of the other cell phone revealed messages between the two indicating their intention to commit suicide, Janzen says.

A toxicology test revealed high levels of methamphetamine and fentanyl, as well as numerous pill fragments in Letkeman’s stomach. She concluded Letkeman drowned, and classified the death as a suicide.


Shanna Wilson, Curtis’ sister, says the information in the coroner’s report just doesn’t add up. While the other man described in the report is unnamed, Shanna is certain the coroner is referring to her brother, for whom she has never given up searching.

“If my brother committed suicide, that's fine, I can accept that. But I just don’t know how it can be labelled a suicide pact,” Shanna says.

While the report says messages were recovered from a cell phone that indicate the pair’s intentions to commit suicide, Shanna says Curtis’ cell phone was too damaged to get any information from.

“Curtis’ phone has never had information obtained from it,” Shanna says, adding it was even sent to an RCMP lab in Ottawa.

The coroner's report also states family members received messages from the men alluding to their intentions to commit suicide, but Shanna says they didn’t receive such messages.

“There was one text message between Shane and Curtis that I know of, and Curtis did not text us all and say his goodbyes,” Shanna says.

Curtis sent two messages that Shanna is aware of. One to his girlfriend asking to make sure he was cremated, and another to one of his friends that simply stated ‘Kal Lake.’

“For him to just write ‘Kal Lake’ almost seems like a call for help,” Shanna says. “And (the cremation text) could mean it was a suicide, or it could also mean he was scared.”

She also says there are differences in what police investigators have told her, and what is outlined in the coroner’s report.

“I’ve been very involved in this investigation since day one, and this is not what I’ve been told by lead investigators,” Shanna says. “I know people are wondering what’s happened and what’s going on but I’d just like it to be accurate.”

Curtis Wilson, 24.
Curtis Wilson, 24.
Image Credit: Contributed

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