YEAR IN REVIEW: Major unsolved crimes in the Southern Interior - InfoNews

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YEAR IN REVIEW: Major unsolved crimes in the Southern Interior

Image Credit: FILE PHOTO
December 29, 2016 - 9:00 PM

THOMPSON-OKANAGAN - From homicde to suspicious deaths and missing persons, there were several unsolved crimes in the Southern Interior this year.

In some cases, there were cold cases brought to the public's attention by investigators looking to generate tips and clues.

Here's a look at the major unsolved crimes in the region in 2016:

KELOWNA

The bodies of Kimberley Ansell, left, and Marcello Verna were found in the area of Shannon Way and Westville Way at around 7 a.m. on Wednesday, March 2, 2016.
The bodies of Kimberley Ansell, left, and Marcello Verna were found in the area of Shannon Way and Westville Way at around 7 a.m. on Wednesday, March 2, 2016.
Image Credit: Facebook

With several unsolved suspicious deaths in Kelowna and West Kelowna this year.

There are still questions surrounding how Kimberley Ansell, 31, and Marcello Verna, 20, died in West Kelowna at the beginning of March.

Their bodies were found off the side of the road in a small patch of trees on Shannon Way near Westville Way at around 7 a.m. Mar. 2. After the bodies were found, RCMP said there was no indication a third-party person was involved. This led to the assumption it has been a murder-suicide but a source later cast doubt on the theory.

For the full story, go here.

There are still no answers being offered into the death of a Summerland man in West Kelowna this January. Tura Stephen McCarty, 22, was found dead inside a vehicle parked on Bear Creek Road.

The suspicious death investigation turned into a homicide probe in the days following the discovery of the body, but no suspect has been identified in the case, although RCMP at the time said they believed it was not a random attack.

For the full story, go here.

Zachary Gaudette.
Zachary Gaudette.
Image Credit: Facebook

An Ontario man died in Kelowna in February, after an altercation outside of a restaurant. Zachary Gaudette, 30, was rushed to hospital on Feb. 17, but RCMP said on Feb. 19 he had died from his injuries.

Police said they wouldn't be releasing any further information on the altercation and never referred to the death as a homicide. A family member alleged on Facebook that Gaudette was involved in a fight, "one punch later and he was on life support."

For the full story, go here.

The driver of this vehicle was shot several times in what a KGH employee calls a gang related, targeted shooting.
The driver of this vehicle was shot several times in what a KGH employee calls a gang related, targeted shooting.
Image Credit: Global Okanagan (with permission)

A driver was shot by a cyclist in West Kelowna earlier this year and a staff member at Kelowna General Hospital said at the time the victim had been shot six times. 

The shooting happened on Hudson Road in August and police did not take any suspects into custody. The staff member also said the incident was gang-related, although those reports have not been confirmed by RCMP.

For the full story, go here.

KAMLOOPS

Jennifer Gatey.
Jennifer Gatey.

A 16-year-old Kamloops girl was struck and killed by a vehicle in November, just across the street from her Aberdeen backyard. Jennifer Gatey was hours away from her 17th birthday when she was hit.

The driver fled the scene. A black Jeep was the subject of a Kamloops RCMP forensic investigation in the days following her death, but it's not clear if it was the vehicle involved. No suspect has been arrested.

For the full story, go here.

A Kamloops woman disappeared in Las Vegas more than 10 years ago and her family is still looking for answers. Jessie Foster hasn't been seen since March 2006 and family members believe the man she was living with was her pimp.

Her mother has previously said she believes Foster was sold into the sex trade and has been given no answers over the past decade.

For the full story, go here.

Henry Vandenberghe was 61 years old when he was struck over the head and killed in Kamloops 10 years ago.
Henry Vandenberghe was 61 years old when he was struck over the head and killed in Kamloops 10 years ago.
Image Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Another decade-old cold case is the murder of Henry Vandenberghe. In November 2006 he left his North Shore home to walk to work but was attacked along the way. Police believe he was struck over the head, an injury that eventually killed him.

There are no leads in the homicide investigation. Police say no evidence was found at the scene and no murder weapon was ever recovered. RCMP are still asking the public to come forward with information.

For the full story, go here.

VERNON

Caitlin Brandy Potts
Caitlin Brandy Potts
Image Credit: Contributed

Caitlin Potts of Enderby has been missing since February.

She told friends and family she was travelling to Calgary and was hasn't been heard from since. Police have followed countless leads since, all of them turning up no usable information, although police suspect foul play.

Community members and family members have searched for evidence themselves, but the case remains unsolved.

To learn more about the Caitlin Potts case, go here.

Deanna Wertz, 46, disappeared from the North Okanagan this summer. An avid hiker, Shuswap search and rescue crews spent time combing through areas she was known to hike, with no sign of her.

Her husband was the last person to see her on July 19 before he left for work. Family members also spoke to her by phone that day. RCMP said at the time there was no reason to suspect foul play, or make a connection to any other missing persons cases.

For the full story, go here.

Ashley Marie Simpson was last seen on April 27, 2016.
Ashley Marie Simpson was last seen on April 27, 2016.
Image Credit: RCMP handout

Another missing person case being investigated by North Okanagan RCMP is the disappearance of 27-year-old Ashley Marie Simpson who hasn't been seen since April.

RCMP said in the month following that since the disappearance was so out of character Simpson could very well be the victim of foul play.

For more on the story, go here.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Ashley Legassic or call 250-319-7494 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 © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016
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