On the shores of Okanagan Lake near Kerry Park, RCMP responded to reports of human remains. It was March 11, 1973 – and to this day, the mystery of how the remains got there and who they belong to has gone cold.
That’s one of a few dozen unsolved cases involving unidentified human remains now listed on an interactive app launch by the BC Coroners Service. The hope is these tiny markers, coloured by gender, will spark someone’s memory.
The database includes cases such as a man between the ages of 35 to 49, wearing jeans, found in Port Hardy on Vancouver Island in 2001, and another man aged 13 to 16 found along the Skeena River in Terrace in 1971. The earliest case dates back to 1953.
“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.
Some cases have more detail than others, from apparent injuries to clothing worn to items found inside the person’s pockets.
It looks like one of the oldest unsolved human remains probes in B.C. dates back to 1971 in Terrace, where remains of a male teenager between 13 to 16 y/o was found along the Skeena River. One of ~200 cases charted on a fairly new BC Coroners Service map @BlackPressMedia pic.twitter.com/aCDPXNPHzJ
— Ashley Wadhwani (@ashwadhwani) March 27, 2019
The coroners service works with police and the National Centre for Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains to input various cases into a federal database.
Roughly 200 investigations of this kind are unsolved in B.C.