New charges bring hope of new leads in missing teen case
The family of a missing B.C. teen hopes that new sex charges against the last person to see her alive will prompt witnesses to come forward with information that could solve the case.
Bowen Island resident Gavin Arnott, 22, is a person of interest in the 2009 disappearance of his ex-girlfriend Jodi Henrickson. The 17-year-old girl walked off during an argument with Arnott after a house party on the island and was never seen again.
Although police now believe Jodi was likely murdered, they have yet to find her body.
CTV News learned this week that Arnott has now been charged with sexual interference and possession of child pornography for allegedly keeping illicit photographs of a 14-year-old on his cell phone and computer.
Jodi's older brother Rob-James Henrickson told ctvbc.ca that he's optimistic news of the charges against Arnott will bring his sister's case back into the spotlight.
"With new charges laid against Gavin, we're hoping somebody will come forward with information about Jodi's disappearance," Henrickson said.
Jodi's family in Squamish last heard from her on the day before she disappeared, when she told them that she was going camping for the weekend.
Her brother says the family hasn't had any new information about the case since February, when homicide police took over the investigation.
But Henrickson believes that somebody somewhere knows something that could finally bring some closure for his family.
"The only conclusion to this case will come when someone comes forward with the slightest bit of information. Until then, there will be no end to this," he said.
Jodi and Arnott had a troubled relationship. A few months before she went missing, she called police to make an assault complaint against him. He pleaded guilty to the charge in court.
Police interrogated Arnott about Jodi's disappearance and searched his father's Bowen Island property, but Arnott has denied any involvement in the case.
Henrickson says that his family isn't making any assumptions about Arnott's connection to his sister's disappearance.
"A lot of people would pull the trigger and say that Gavin did it. I'm really not sure," he said.
"I don't believe somebody like that could hide something as significant as a murder for so long."
While the family waits for a break in the case, they're holding on to increasingly dim hopes that Jodi could still be alive somewhere.
"Everyone's just trying to get by as they did before," Henrickson said. "You have to keep a positive outlook."
Arnott made a brief court appearance on Wednesday, and is scheduled to appear again on June 1.