North Okanagan family 'aren't safe' after murder suspect released | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source
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North Okanagan family 'aren't safe' after murder suspect released

Tatjana Stefansky
Image Credit: FACEBOOK

A North Okanagan man whose partner was abducted and killed says he doesn’t feel his family is safe after police released the suspected killer.

Police have released Vitali Steffan, also known as Vitali Stefanski, after he was arrested on Mabel Lake Road near Lumby, where the body of Tatjana Stefansky, 44, was found.

“I am just trying to keep my family safe because they aren’t safe right now,” Jason Gaudreault told iNFOnews.ca by phone.

Gaudreault admitted he's struggling but trying to stay strong where he’s needed.

“These kids are my highest priority and I am all they have in Canada, they have no family here,” he said. “I am going to be taking full guardianship of them so I can give them a good life.”

Police have not laid charges in the case yet. Tatjana was abducted Sunday when her family says Steffan forced her into his car.

Gaudreault said they have had trouble with Steffan in the past, but it was difficult to track him because no one knew he changed his name from Stefansky to Steffan.

Selina Stefansky, Tatjana’s daughter, said on social media he is “extremely unstable and unpredictable.” She also said Steffan was stopped by police when he appeared to be heading back to their home in Vernon.

“Shortly after being released, he was seen 600 m from our home and had been walking towards our property. He was picked up and brought back into Vernon by police and then released once again after that. Hope the justice system will figure itself out because I am at a loss for words, we are not safe as a family or as a community with him free.”

Gaudreault has asked for privacy until he can sort out his next steps. 

“I have been on the go since four o'clock this morning. Mentally, I am so drained it’s not even funny,” he said through tears. “And I don’t think anyone understands what I am going through.”


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