Several women missing in B.C. region where human remains discovered
The discovery of human remains at a rural property in B.C.'s Southern Interior has rattled the surrounding communities, which have seen several women vanish over the last 18 months.
RCMP officers began searching a farm between Vernon and Salmon Arm last week, and announced the grim discovery on Saturday. It's unclear whether the remains are those of a single person or multiple people.
Mounties have so far been tight-lipped about the case, stating only that the "matter is being treated as suspicious," but it has still put resident of the small cities surrounding the Salmon River Road property on edge.
The uncovering of the remains also follows a violent incident against a sex worker down the same rural road back in August.
The victim said she was threatened by a man with a gun. Fortunately, she was able to escape and call police, who found and arrested a 36-year-old Salmon River Road resident.
The incident prompted local RCMP to issue a public warning to women in the area, in particular to escorts and sex workers.
Curtis Wayne Sagmoen has since been charged with seven criminal counts, including uttering threats and several firearms charges.
Mounties have not made any connection between the August incident and the search warrant executed last week. CTV News has identified the owners of the Salmon River Road farm as Evelyn Ruth Sagmoen and Wayne Thomas Sagmoen.
The RCMP also hasn't connected their investigation to any outstanding missing person cases, such as the disappearances of Traci Genereaux, an 18-year-old who was reported missing to Vernon authorities in June, and Deanna Mildred Wertz, a 46-year-old who vanished about 11 months earlier from nearby Enderby.
Nothing in the RCMP releases for Genereaux and Wertz's disappearances suggested they had any connection to escorting or the sex trade.
At least five women have been reported missing from Vernon and neighbouring communities since the start of 2016 and remain unaccounted for.
With files from CTV Vancouver's Ben Miljure