Lytton RCMP files: Tragedy on the Thompson River

Plus several people declined to cooperate with police; a large marihauna bust; and more.

By Sgt. Curtis Davis

Lytton RCMP responded to 103 calls for service during the period June 8 to July 6.

House fight

On June 7 at 3:30 a.m. we attended—along with BC Ambulance—a fight in a house on Lytton Ferry Road. Our investigation determined that it was a consensual between friends. No charges were laid.

Not cooperating (1)

On June 12, just after noon, we responded to a call from CN Rail staff about a woman on the ground on the east side of the footbridge in Lytton. Police and BC Ambulance found a badly beaten woman on the ground. A male was located in the brush on the west side and taken into custody. The parties, both from Vancouver, were not cooperative with police. However, the investigation is ongoing as a result of witness statements.

Mass marihuana

Just before midnight on June 12, we were called to a farm near Spences Bridge. The owner reported finding marihuana plants growing within his field of vegetables. He believed that they were planted by his step-son, and wanted police to remove the plants.

Three firearms and 621 marihuana plants were seized. The investigation is ongoing.

Compounding the issue (1)

On June 16, a car was stopped on the Trans-Canada at Lytton because the driver was not wearing a seatbelt. The investigation revealed that the driver was not the car’s owner. The driver did not have a driver’s licence, and a stolen licence plate was found in the back seat. Surrey Detachment was contacted and the investigation is ongoing. The car was towed, and the 45-year-old Surrey woman was charged with Traffic offences, but may face additional charges.

Compounding the issue (2)

At 4 p.m. on June 18, an SUV driven by a 49-year-old Port Moody man was stopped north of Lytton on the Trans-Canada. He brought himself to our attention by travelling at 58km over the speed limit. Ultimately, he was found to be impaired. His vehicle was seized and he was served a driving prohibition.

Thompson River tragedy

On June 18 at 9:30 p.m., a call was received by the Boston Bar RCMP. A witness near the Siska Reserve witnessed a body floating down the Fraser River. The witness said the body was held up by an orange ring-type life preserver. He believed the body was that of a First Nations adult with long hair.

Boston Bar RCMP attended the Alexandra Bridge and watched the river until it was too dark to see. Lytton RCMP was notified and made patrols along the Trans-Canada looking for unoccupied cars. The following day, June 19, the RCMP helicopter was called in from Kelowna and searched the river from Lytton to Hope and back without finding anything.

On June 20, we received a report that Duane Aleck, a 59-year-old Lytton man, was missing and last seen on June 18, when he had gone to mend his nets below Kumsheen school. A second flight with the RCMP helicopter to and from Hope took place.

The investigation was advanced when a statement was obtained from a fisherman from the opposite shore. This witness saw Mr. Aleck enter the river on June 18 to un-snag a net. The net caught the current and Mr. Aleck swam back to shore, grabbed the life-ring, and pursued the net, which was 100 feet down-river. When the witness left the river after 8:30 p.m., Mr. Aleck was clinging onto a cliff and did not seem to be panicked. The witness did not report this until he learned that there was a search for a missing fisherman.

Local First Nations from Lytton to the Port Mann Bridge were notified. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has made a patrol of the river and notified their partners downstream. On June 29, Search and Rescue and the RCMP made two patrols of the Fraser with separate helicopters. A local business supplied boats and took family to search the river. Local Chiefs have been extremely supportive and helpful to the search and in support of the searchers.

Following the search of June 29, the Search and Rescue coordinator recommended concluding the search. Regardless, the RCMP and their partners continue to be alert to any new information, and maintain communication with the family spokespersons.

Not cooperating (2)

On June 27, just as the ferry was closing for the night, we were called to a fight on the west side of the river in Lytton. A man and woman were found on North Spencer Road. The man was taken into custody and released, and the woman was escorted to family.

As a result of an unwillingness to provide a statement, no charges are being pursued.

Not cooperating (3)

On June 30, a Merritt woman reported that her vehicle, which had been parked at a residence on the west side, was stolen. Several people saw the vehicle and occupants before and after it was involved in a crash. However, nobody was willing to provide a statement, and the complainant only wanted the vehicle locked; she would then remove it.

Riding the rails is wrong

On July 4 we assisted CP Rail Police in locating and arresting a 24-year-old man from Quebec. The man was found on an open train car as it passed through Lytton. CP Rail staff had observed a male on the train after leaving a station further south. He also had an outstanding warrant from Oliver for his arrest.

The man intended to ride to Calgary and on to Quebec. Given the two recent tragic incidents at Revelstoke and White Rock, it is a reminder that riding illegally on trains is not safe. The man was charged under S.26.1 of the Railway Safety Act.

Skihist heist: witnesses sought

On July 5 we received a complaint from the supervisors at Skihist Provincial Park that thieves had cut the steel post holding the coin box at the sani-station and stole the coin box and pole.

It would have taken considerable time and effort to remove the pole, and it is hoped that somebody will come forward with information.

If you have information on any police files or crimes, please contact the Lytton RCMP at (250) 455-2225, or Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

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