In the afternoon on Feb. 14, 1982, a person walking their dog came across a body of an unidentified infant female in Okanagan Falls on Skaha Lake.
On Nov. 2, 1991 a hunter was walking just north of Chute Lake Road when they discovered remains.
These are two of the few dozen unsolved cases involving unidentified human remains now listed on an interactive map launched by the BC Coroners Service recently. The hope is these tiny markers, coloured by gender, will spark someone’s memory.
“By reaching out and engaging members of the public with the launch of this innovative tool, it’s our hope to gain new investigative leads that will lead to the identification of these unidentified individuals and bring closure to their families,” chief coroner Lisa Lapointe said in a statement.
In the case of the two Penticton files, RCMP recently released information on one them with the hope of generating new tips from the public.
It had been 36 years that had passed since the discovery was made. It was believed the infant had been in the water for several days and was washed ashore. There were no signs of physical trauma. Officers found no leads by investigating recent births at the Penticton hospital.
In the other unsolved file just north of Chute Lake Road, the RCMP and BC Coroner service attended the area and conducted a detailed search, as the remains had been scattered by animals. Police did not recover a complete skeleton, but did locate some personal belongings.
It was determined that the human remains had been at the scene for a period of time approximated to be up to five years prior to their discovery, and could be from as early as January 1986. There was no determination of cause of death. The BC Coroner Service utilized a Forensic Pathologist and a Forensic Odontologist, to determine that the remains were a native or caucasian male that is 30 to 60 years of age. He was approximately 5’8 in height and there were no dental fillings present, but the male had several missing teeth.
Roughly 200 investigations of this kind are unsolved in B.C.
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