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

More than $10,000 in donations and toys was presented to the Salvation Army by the Prince Rupert Harley riders on Oct. 20, from the 39th annual Toy Ride held on Sept 26. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Harley Riders rode to victory with $10,000 donation to Salvation Army

The 39th annual Prince Rupert Harley Riders gifted more than 280 toys from the annual Toy Ride

The Prince Rupert Port Authority Land Use Plan will guide the growth within lands and waters under its jurisdiction and facilitate Canada’s trade with the world for the next 20 years. (Photo: Supplied by Port of Prince Rupert)
Land Use Plan finalized by Port Authority

PRPA Land Use Plan plan guides the growth and trade for next 20 years within its lands and waters

Such sweetness with all this candy. Dylan Kennedy 7, with his mom Kerri Kennedy volunteer at the Halloween Fest Committee event to bag candy for students in SD 52 on Oct. 19. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
How sweet it is

Bags of candy were assembled by more than 25 Halloween Fest Volunteers for distribution to S.D. 52

Ashley Wilson officer in charge of Prince Rupert Marine Communications and Traffic Services said radio officers in Prince Rupert are the eyes and ears of the Canadian Coast Guard with the job as an ocean first responder being like a 911 dispatcher. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Coast Guard calling for radio officers

Deadline for radio officers applications extended specifically for Prince Rupert and area residents

FILE - Nathan Cullen speaks to media in Smithers, B.C., Friday, February 28, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
More calls come in for Cullen’s removal as NDP candidate

Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs demand Cullen’s removal. Ellis says, There’s no place in B.C. for racism

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry presents modelling of COVID-19 spread in B.C., March 25, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 203 new cases

up to 1,766 active cases in B.C., two more deaths

Jordan Naterer, an electrical engineer from Vancouver, was last seen Saturday Oct. 10. (Facebook photo)
Search efforts to resume for missing Manning Park hiker; Trudeau speaks on case

PM says he’ll do what he can to ‘nudge’ efforts to find Jordan Naterer, yet has little leverage locally

Smartphone showing various applications to social media services and Google. (Pixabay photo)
National media calling for level playing field with Google, Facebook

In Canada, Google and Facebook control 80 per cent of all online advertising revenues

École de L’Anse-au-sable. (Google Maps)
B.C. records first COVID-19 outbreak at school, six weeks after students return to class

Three cases of the virus have been identified at École de L’Anse-au-sable

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau is seen as she leaves media event during a campaign stop in West Vancouver, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green leader hopes voters see value in minority government

The Greens received nearly 17 per cent of the popular vote in 2017 yet received just three seats

Local candidates Pam Alexis, Abbotsford-Mission, and Preet Rai, Abbotsford-West, look on as NDP Leader John Horgan main streets in Abbotsford, B.C., Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. NDP takes snap election risk during pandemic in quest for majority government

Green Leader Sonia Furstenau said the election was unnecessary and irresponsible during the pandemic

Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson speaks during a drive-in car rally campaign stop at a tour bus operator, in Delta, B.C., on October 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. Liberal Leader maintains confidence as campaign tests party identity

Liberal campaign has been disrupted by controversy

Most Read