An autopsy of human remains found in a burned-out SUV discovered off Westside Road Sept. 20, 2020, are those of Erin Chelsea Borgford, 27, of Whitehorse. Her death is being treated as a homicide. (RCMP Handout)

2 Okanagan homicides in 12 days under investigation by major crime unit

RCMP believe homicide victims, linked to Yukon drug trade, targeted

Two Vernon area homicides in 12 days, with victims linked to the Yukon drug trade, are under investigation and police believe the incidents were targeted.

Human remains found in a burned-out vehicle off Westside Road on Sunday, Sept. 20, were identified on Oct. 2 as 27-year-old Erin Borgford of Whitehorse.

On Oct. 1, RCMP responded to a medical distress call in Coldstream. An hours-long investigation led to the closure of Aberdeen and Kalamalka roads. Police deemed the incident a homicide on Monday, Oct. 5, after 27-year-old Zacheriah Bradley, of Vernon, died in hospital from his injuries.

“The victim, who had been shot, happened to gain entry into the home of a medical professional who provided enhanced care while awaiting the arrival of emergency paramedics,” said Staff Sgt. Scott Aschenbrenner of the Southeast District Major Crime Unit.

The major crime unit is conducting investigations into both homicides.

“The investigative teams are aware of the geographic proximity of the two cases,” RCMP media relations officer Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey said Tuesday, Oct. 6.

Major crime investigators are in contact with each other to ensure any possible overlapping information between the two incidents is investigated thoroughly, O’Donaghey said.

“No arrests have been made at this time,” he said. “RCMP wish to reassure the general public that each of these incidents are believed to be targeted and not random in nature.”

Borgford was arrested in Whitehorse on March 4 along with two others. The Yukon RCMP’s Crime Reduction Unit seized drug paraphernalia, suspected heroin and cash. The three were charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking.

Three years prior, Bradley pleaded guilty in Whitehorse to five of 23 charges, including possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking and possession of weapons. The then 24-year-old was sentenced to two years plus one day in prison and was issued a 10-year firearms ban.

Territorial Court Judge Michael Cozens noted in his 2017 decision this was Bradley’s first conviction as an adult or a youth related to possession or trafficking drugs, but acknowledged his lengthy record going back to his youth in Vernon, which includes assault with a weapon and armed robbery.

“I really do wish you the best, Mr. Bradley, with trying to turn your life away from where the pattern has brought you,” the judge concluded. “I will not tell you it will be easy but you can do it.”

It is still unconfirmed if the victims knew each other.

READ MORE: Homicide investigation underway after Coldstream incident

READ MORE: Suspected human remains found in burned-out vehicle on OKIB land


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

RCMP

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP responded to reports of a man in medical distress Oct. 1, 2020. An investigation closed Kalamalka Road around Howe Drive for several hours. Spray paint marks reddish stains along the roadway. (Caitlin Clow - Vernon Morning Star)

Just Posted

(RCMP)
RCMP searching for missing Kelowna man

Nathan David Copp was last seen this morning, Oct. 28

(Kerkhoff Construction)
Large Glenmore rental development given greenlight by Kelowna council

The development will contain 238 rental apartment units across four five-storey buildings

Michael Rodriguez, Kelowna Capital News.
UPDATE: Natural gas leak on KLO Road

KLO Road is down to one lane alternating traffic while emergency crews are on scene

Norm Letnick, BC Liberal Party MLA-elect for Kelowna-Lake Country. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Liberal Party needs youth, urban presence: Kelowna-Lake Country MLA-elect Norm Letnick

The Kelowna-Lake Country MLA-elect also said he will not vie for party leadership

Beyond Learning Kelowna voluntarily closed its doors for the rest of the week to keep its staff and the rest of the community safe from COVID-19 transmission. (Beyond Learning Kelowna)
Kelowna daycare voluntarily closes after COVID-19 case in community

Beyond Learning’s facility director said they wanted to keep staff, children and their families safe

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

Janet Austin, lieutenant governor of B.C., was presented with the first poppy of the Royal Canadian Legion’s 2020 Poppy Campaign on Wednesday. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
PHOTOS: B.C. Lieutenant Governor receives first poppy to kick off 2020 campaign

Janet Austin ‘honour and a privileged’ to receive the poppy

An air tanker drops fire retardant on the Christie Mountain wildfire along Skaha Lake in Penticton, B.C. Thursday, August 20, 2020. (Jonathan Hayward - The Canadian Press file)
North Okanagan firefighters thanked for help in Christie Mountain wildfire

Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen send thank-you note to Vernon firefighters

In past years, Summerland has launched the festive season with the annual Summerland Festival of Lights. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival has been cancelled. (Summerland Review file photo)
Festival of Lights cancelled in Summerland

Annual November event normally launches start of festive season

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The front door was smashed at Simply Delicious aroud 4 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020, but nothing was stolen. (Cameron Grant photo)
North Okanagan business owners hit second time in three months

Simply Delicious broken into, but nothing was stolen

Revelstoke Fire Rescue Services. (File)
RCMP say fire at Revelstoke apartment suspicious

Second fire in less than a week in Revelstoke contained to one unit

Premier-elect John Horgan and cabinet ministers are sworn in for the first time at Government House in Victoria, July 18, 2017. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)
Pandemic payments have to wait for B.C. vote count, swearing-in

Small businesses advised to apply even if they don’t qualify

Most Read