A group gathers outside the Quesnel Law Courts Thursday, April 13 to honour and remember the life of Carmelita Abraham. A preliminary inquiry is underway inside the courthouse for Joseph Simpson, who is charged with murder and interference with a dead body. (Tracey Roberts photo - Quesnel Observer)

VIDEO: Mother attends preliminary inquiry into murder of Carmelita Abraham in Quesnel

Joseph Simpson is charged with murder

A group gathered outside the Quesnel Law Courts Thursday morning to drum, sing and make their presence known at a preliminary inquiry into the murder of Carmelita Abraham.

“It’s my second day here for my daughter’s court, Carmelita Abraham,” Carmelita’s mother, Heather Abraham, told Black Press Media. “My nation has a drum group here to support me and my granddaughter, Carmelita’s daughter, during the court.”

A member of the Talka First Nation, Carmelita went missing from Williams Lake Dec. 27 or 28, 2021. Her body was recovered Jan. 14 at the Willow Inn in Quesnel. Charges of murder and interference with a dead body were sworn against Joseph Simpson.

The preliminary inquiry is scheduled for three days – April 12, 13 and 14.

Heather said they plan to drum each day prior to the inquiry. She noted members from Burns Lake were on hand as well as First Nations from Quesnel, and she thanked everyone for their support.

A publication ban has been put in place over the preliminary inquiry, preventing publication of any details from the hearing.

Carmelita, 33, had been the focus of a missing persons investigation beginning Jan. 4, 2022 when the Williams Lake RCMP received a missing persons report from her family. Investigators were able to confirm that Carmelita left Williams Lake for Quesnel on Dec. 27 or 28.

On Jan. 10, 2022 investigators from the BC RCMP-North District Major Crime Unit attended Quesnel and took conduct of the investigation with assistance from the Quesnel and Williams Lake RCMP, Cariboo Crime Reduction Unit, the North District General Investigation Section and Forensic Identification Sections.

At the time, Mounties said Simpson and Abraham were known to one another. The Willow Inn in Quesnel was the focus of the investigation.

READ MORE: Murder victim Carmelita Abraham remembered as caring, unique by Williams Lake neighbour

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