Murder victim found near Boston Bar was Belgian hitchhiker
Homicide investigators have identified the woman found murdered last month near Boston Bar as a Belgian national who was apparently hitchhiking across southern B.C.
Police found the woman's body while responding to reports of a suspicious incident just north of the unincorporated Fraser Valley town the evening of Aug. 22.
Weeks later, authorities have identified the deceased as 28-year-old Amelie Christelle Sakkalis, who was travelling in Canada when she was killed.
The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team believes she had been trying to hitchhike from the Penticton area to Vancouver when she was murdered, and they're hoping to speak to anyone who gave her a ride on Aug. 22.
"She may have jumped in one, two, several vehicles. We don't know that, and that's what we're trying to determine," Cpl. Frank Jang told reporters Wednesday.
“We’re hoping people who were vacationing, who were travelling along that area, who live in that area would be able to help us answer those questions.”
A post on a Facebook page for French speakers suggests Sakkalis's movements during her final hours.
At 1:22 p.m. on Aug. 22, she posted from Penticton saying all hostels in Vancouver looked full, and asking if anyone would host her for the night. Less than an hour later, she posted further west in Keremeos, saying even just a couch would be fine.
Five hours later, her body turned up not near Vancouver or on Highway 3, but along Highway 1, about 300 kilometres from Penticton.
Homicide investigators are also working to pinpoint a motive in the disturbing crime, but noted there is an "inherent danger" in entering a vehicle with a stranger.
"I don't think you need to be a police officer to know that's a dangerous thing to do," Jang said.
Sakkalis's family has been notified about what happened, and are heading to B.C. to help police with their investigation.
Her cause of death hasn't been released, but authorities said they're confident it was a homicide.
Police arrested a man at the scene after discovering Sakkalis's body, but he was released from custody the same week. IHIT said there is not "enough information" to charge him, but would not confirm whether he is considered a suspect.
Jang said investigators are aware of the man's whereabouts, however.
Police also seized a white 1994 Chevrolet Astro van from the crime scene, which they believe is connected to the murder. Investigators would not say whether Sakkalis had travelled in the vehicle.
Anyone who gave Sakkalis a ride while she was hitchhiking on Aug. 22, or who has information on her murder is asked to call the IHIT tip line at 1-877-551-4448.
Those who wish to remain anonymous can instead call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
With files from CTV Vancouver's David Molko