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Police aren't done searching near Sagmoen farm

FILE PHOTO: Police tape wrapped around 2290 Salmon River Road where police conducted a lengthy investigation in late October and early November 2017.
December 05, 2017 - 4:30 PM

SILVER CREEK - Search efforts are quietly continuing in a rural North Okanagan community where the remains of a young Vernon woman was found earlier this year.

Police have been checking areas around Salmon River Road in recent weeks, according to local residents. The ongoing efforts have been low-key compared to the extensive search at a farm on Salmon River Road in late October and early November. Under a sealed search warrant, numerous police officers combed over the 24-acre property, where Vernon teen Traci Genereaux’s remains were found, for roughly three weeks. Those search efforts ended on Nov. 9 when the property was turned back over to the owners, but members of the public say police have been back to visit other locations in the area. 

Cpl. Dan Moskaluk confirms the RCMP’s recent presence in the small community of Silver Creek but is not providing specific details about what officers were looking for.

"The search activities seen around the Salmon River Road property were related to the ongoing investigation,” Moskaluk says.

Police aren’t the only ones searching. A group of community members, including Wendy Mohr of Sicamous, have formed the “Murdered and Missing Women Drone Search Team.” With the help of two drone operator companies in the region, the group has conducted several searches looking for anything that might advance the investigation. 

“Anything we find we photograph and send to police,” Mohr says. “The (RCMP) task force has been great. They’ve been patient, they’ve listened to what we had to report.”

Group members have also gone to Vernon to speak with people on the street in an effort to generate tips about Traci Genereaux and other missing women.

Police have not drawn any links between the missing women cases and Traci Genereaux’s suspicious death. They have also not named any suspects in relation to her death or laid charges. A man who lived at the farm where her remains were found remains in custody on separate charges from August when he allegedly threatened a woman with a firearm. Those charges have not been proven in court.

Mohr says she and other community members want to keep attention on the missing women and do what they can to help.

“None of us are experts in this field. We’re just concerned citizens,” she says. “I just pray our efforts will pay off.”

Cpl. Moskaluk says police know about the group’s activities and has no problem with them.

“It’s not an issue at all for us. We’re aware of the efforts that have developed by private group that want to show support and do what they can. Always, if people do undertake these types of activities, our simple request is that they liaise closely with us, and (refer tips) by saying “contact police if you have something,” Moskaluk says. “In this day and age, people want to do what they can do in support of official efforts, and you never know what it could uncover and what could develop as a result of individuals or individual efforts.”

A dedicated tip line remains in place for Traci Genereaux. Anyone with information is asked to call 1-877-987-8477.

The drone search team is holding a candlelight vigil Dec. 6 for Traci Genereaux and four missing women in the area. The ceremony will also honour the lives lost in the mass shooting at Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal in 1989. Anyone interested in taking part should meet at 5:30 p.m. at the Enderby bridge.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston or call 250-309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © iNFOnews, 2017

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