Ongoing investigation into suspicious deaths in troubled Shuswap community
VANCOUVER - The discovery of two bodies at a home in a tiny Shuswap community has Mounties downplaying any risk to the public, but locals say the deaths have heightened fears in an area where crime and even violence have been growing.
RCMP arrived at the home in Anglemont Monday afternoon, and on Tuesday, the Southeast District Major Crimes Unit was on scene gathering forensic evidence in conjunction with investigators from the BC Coroners Service.
"I'm not able to give you any specific information with respect to the manner in which these two individuals died, but what I can tell you is that we do believe this is an isolated event and we don't believe that the general public is at any risk," said Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey.
Locals tell CTV News an older couple lived in the home, but Mounties wouldn’t confirm the ages or genders of the deceased, nor what connection they may have to the home on Fraser Road.
Anglemont is a small waterfront community about 100 kilometres east of Kamloops on the northwest side of Shuswap Lake. Local residents also say it has been the site of increasing property crime, suspicious vehicles and thefts.
"My wife was petrified. I don't think she slept a wink last night," said George Inglis, who lives a few doors down from the house under investigation. “It makes me feel really upset because I don't know if it's an accident that happened in the house -- we're thinking of the worst."
Inglis says there is an atmosphere of wariness between neighbours and rising concerns in the face of property thefts. He also described an incident over the summer that saw a confrontation between locals and alleged squatters at a home in the area, where he says a man pulled out a gun and fired a warning shot in the air.
Scott Tannockfavell said the ensuing SWAT Team response escalated tensions in the area.
"In the past couple of years a lot more of this stuff's been happening,” he said. “I don't think it's right because people move out here to enjoy the peace and quiet."
Inglis says locals are starting up a crime watch group to support each other since the closest RCMP detachment is at least 15 minutes away, and they feel unsafe.
Mounties are stressing that while the deaths are suspicious, they still haven’t determined if a homicide took place and are actively trying to confirm the identities of the two people in the home.
“We do believe this is an isolated event and we don’t believe there's any risk to the general public,” said O’Donaghey.