The body of missing Kwikwetlem (kʷikʷəƛ̓əm) First Nation Coun. Stephanie Patterson has been found.
The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) announced today (Aug. 16) that the 44-year-old woman’s remains were located in a rural part of Mission.
She had been reported missing last Friday (Aug. 11) after she left her home on the Kwikwetlem reserve at ƛ̓éxətəm road (formerly Colony Farm Road) and Lougheed Highway with a man: 57-year-old David Hall.
They were believed to be travelling together in a 2019 Honda Ridgeline truck.
The vehicle was last spotted at 7:30 p.m. last Friday evening at the Meadowvale Shopping Centre on Lougheed Highway in Pitt Meadows.
On Tuesday (Aug. 15), Coquitlam RCMP said Hall and the vehicle had been located.
They also said a man had been arrested in connection with the case, but released no further details.
Patterson was elected to the Kwikwetlem's council in March, along with Chief Ron Giesbrecht and Coun. George Chaffee.
In a news release, IHIT spokesperson Sgt. Timothy Pierotti said the tragic outcome of Patterson's disappearance has shaken the community.
"Anyone in need of support is encouraged to reach out to the Coquitlam RCMP’s victim services," he said.
Chaffee and Giesbrecht also released a statement requesting privacy.
“At this time, we ask for respect and privacy for the family in their grief and suffering as we heal together as a community. We ask the public and media to also respect our space and land as we continue on our healing journey,” they wrote in the police statement.
Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart told the Tri-City News in a statement that council is "heartbroken."
"I attended the inauguration of Councillor Patterson and the new Council in March. And our Council was honoured to join the newly elected Council for kʷikʷəƛ̓əm First Nation back in June, a meeting at which we came to know Councillor Patterson as a passionate and caring individual.
"Our deep condolences to Councillor Patterson's family and friends, the kʷikʷəƛ̓əm Council and administration, and the entire kʷikʷəƛ̓əm First Nation," he wrote.
And Port Coquitlam Mayor Brad West told the Tri-City News that he "had the privilege of meeting with Councillor Patterson shortly after her election and was struck by her warmth and commitment to her community.
"This is a horrible tragedy and, on behalf of the City of Port Coquitlam, I extend my deepest condolences to Councillor Patterson's family, friends and the Kwikwetlem people."
- with files from Kyle Balzer and Janis Cleugh, Tri-City News