Nearby residents were stunned by the grisly discovery of three bodies, found Sunday, Nov. 1, just off the Melrose Forest Service Road near Whiskey Creek.
Police reported that on Sunday at approximately 2 p.m., a person riding his off-road motorcyle came across an unresponsive man. BC Emergency Health Services (EHS) and the Oceanside RCMP were immediately called by the motorcyclist.
Nearby, police and paramedics found a burned-out travel trailer with two deceased adults inside, and a man in another trailer who appeared to have been shot. The shooting victim was airlifted by BC EHS to a hospital and is now in stable condition.
“As this investigation is in its infancy, there are many questions that remain unanswered,” said Cpl. Jesse Foreman of the Oceanside RCMP, who held a press conference Monday afternoon. “Initial findings lead investigators to believe that this is an isolated incident between parties well-known to one another. We do not believe there is any ongoing risk to the public.”
Foreman said within the quarry of the gravel pit there were three trailers, two completely burned and “almost unrecognizable”. Two of the bodies were found in one of the burned-out trailers.
He said the crime scene is “very large” and “there’s all kinds of steps being taken to do an extremely thorough investigation”. Investigators believe potential suspects may still be at large.
Mike Johnson, an Errington resident, said that “it’s usually pretty quiet” along Melrose Road, close to where the bodies were found. Johnson said he goes along the back roads once a week, as he lives only 15 minutes away.
“It’s actually unnerving because the area is so nice and calm; that something like this would happen.”
He said the area is easily accessible but “a little difficult to get to if you don’t know where you’re going.”
“One or two (bodies), it could be somebody out there drunk or attacked by a bear, but three bodies in one spot? That’s kind of suspicious,” said Johnson.
Dirt biker Cooper Selva said he rides along back roads every day, and that he and his friends often use the gravel pit where the bodies were found.
When asked what he first thought when he learned about the bodies being discovered, Selva said “it scared him,” and “made him want to stay home and not be active or go outside.”
Christina Paquette, an employee at a restaurant close to where the bodies were found, is unsettled this happened so close to her work. She said Monday she and others had known that something out of the ordinary was happening.
“One of the people that comes in all the time told us there was lots of activity and something was definitely going on,” said Paquette.
“It’s very nerve-racking. We just want to hear more information and just make sure there’s not someone on the loose.”
Foreman said they are looking for reports from anyone who may have seen or heard anything of interest.
“That area is very popular with dirt-bikers and recreational enthusiasts,” he said. “These days lots of people are recording out there. Anyone with any information is urged to call the tip line (250-380-6211).”