Police release video images of missing North Okanagan woman believed murdered | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Police release video images of missing North Okanagan woman believed murdered

Caitlin Potts is seen here entering Orchard Park Mall on Feb. 21, 2016.
Image Credit: RCMP handout
April 26, 2017 - 2:55 PM

NORTH OKANAGAN - Police put out previously unreleased video images of missing woman Caitlin Potts today, more than a year after she disappeared from the North Okanagan.

The images show the 27-year-old First Nations woman entering Orchard Park Mall on Feb. 21, 2016 at roughly 1:30 p.m.

“The video surveillance is being released at this stage to provide a visual reminder to the public of Caitlin’s appearance and show what she may have been wearing near the time of her disappearance,” states the release from Sgt. Annie Linteau.

The release also states that investigators believe Potts’ disappearance is the result of foul play and asks that anyone with information about her murder contact their local detachment. Previously, the RCMP has only said that foul play was not ruled out and never called the case a homicide investigation.

Potts’ body has not been found.

In the months following her disappearance, her mother and sister both appealed to the public for information and regional First Nations organized a ground search for her in Enderby.

Caitlin Brandy Potts
Caitlin Brandy Potts
Image Credit: Contributed

“Investigators are issuing this news release at this time, as outdoor seasonal activities are picking up, with people spending more leisure time outside around their communities,” Linteau says in the release.

In an interview, Sgt. Linteau would not say when the missing persons case became a murder investigation and would not say if there are any suspects.

When asked when the video footage was obtained by police and why it was not released sooner, she would only say the RCMP sometimes doesn't release evidence right away 'for a variety of reasons.' She reiterated the footage is being released now to refresh peoples' memories of what Potts looks like and what she may have been wearing around the time of her disappearance. 

The RCMP South East District Major Crime Unit continues to investigate and investigators do not believe Caitlin Potts left the Okanagan before her death, according to the release. Previous reports that she was traveling to Calgary have not been substantiated, police say.

In the days leading up to her disappearance Potts had connections to Kelowna, West Kelowna, Armstrong, Salmon Arm and Enderby.

In the video footage, Potts can be seen wearing a three-quarter length black jacket with a hood, light coloured pants, and black winter boots. She had a hair tie (scrunchie), a large, light brown leather-style hand bag and a white cell phone.

Anyone with information on the murder of Caitlin Potts is asked to contact their local police services or Crime Stoppers at 1-877-222-8477.

Two other women went missing around the same time in the same area.

Ashley Simpson went missing from Yankee Flats Road near Enderby a few months after Potts disappeared. A few months after Simpson, North Okanagan woman Deanna Wertz also disappeared from Yankee Flats Road. Neither have been found. 

Sgt. Linteau says there is no evidence to suggest the disappearances of Simpson and Wertz are connected to that of Potts. 

Credit: RCMP

— This story was updated at 3:37 p.m. Wednesday, April 26, 2017 to include additional comments from Sgt. Annie Linteau. 

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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