Despite RCMP warning journalists and the public to not speculate or draw conclusions in regard to the Silver Creek property investigation, it appears everyone is doing just that.
For one week police have been combing through a property at 2290 Salmon River Road. Over the course of the investigation they found human remains. During a Wednesday press conference Cpl. Dan Moskaluk said he could not identify the remains or confirm whether they belonged to one or more persons.
Court records have been sealed for this property search.
Police have not claimed this property search is connected to Shuswap resident Curtis Sagmoen, whose father owns the Salmon River Road residence.
Sagmoen, born in 1980, is currently in custody and charged with the following: disguising face with the intent to commit offence, intentionally discharging a firearm while reckless, uttering threats, careless use or storage of a firearm, possessing a weapon for dangerous purpose and possession of controlled substance.
He appeared in court Thursday in Vernon but the case was adjourned until Nov. 23 — he remains in custody without bail.
Earlier this month police released a statement warning of a “possible risk to the general public and women sex workers” after a woman reported being threatened by a man with a firearm in the Silver Creek area.
In the past few years several women have gone missing including Nicole Bell, Deanna Wertz and Ashley Simpson – although family confirm this search is not about Wertz or Simpson’s case.
The frightening thought of missing women being connected to the human remains on the Silver Creek property have many thinking back to the Robert Pickton case, especially as the police search of the 24 acre farm expands.
Moskaluk says this kind of speculation is dangerous.
“There has been speculation in the community around the discovery of the human remains and them potentially being linked to the ongoing investigations of missing persons,” he said. “But, until these remains have been positively identified, it is too early in the investigation to say whether the discovery is linked to any other ongoing missing persons investigations.”
He went on to explain that police are aware and sensitive to the fact that the families of the missing women in the area are being impacted by what is going on Silver Creek property and the fact human remains were found.
Police are updating the families as the investigation on the property continues.
However, several social media groups that focus on this investigation and Sagmoen have sprung up online. Users are attempting to connect Sagmoen to different areas of B.C., including Maple Ridge where his home foreclosed in 2013.
Some media have reached out to Lorimer Shenher, the first detective in the Vancouver Police Department who was part of the investigation into missing and murdered women in the Downtown Eastside.
In 2015, Shenher published the book ‘That Lonely Section of Hell: The Botched Investigation of a Serial Killer Who Almost Got Away’, a memoir that details the failings of police and Crown counsel during the Pickton investigation.
Pickton emerged as a prime suspect of the missing and murder women in the Downtown Eastside in 1998.
The book criticizes the Vancouver Police Department and their dealings with the families of the missing and murdered women and the lack of professionalism surrounding the investigation.
With this, many want to know what Shenher is thinking as police continue to search the Salmon Road area farm and keep the families of the missing women abreast of the situation.
Shenher refused to speak with media and instead explained why he chose to not answer questions in a series of Tweets on Wednesday.
“While I understand that given my extensive investigative experience, I could speak to possible strategies and techniques the police are employing or potential scenarios unfolding, to do so could easily undermine what is obviously a very fluid and active investigation. I would never forgive myself if I spoke too freely and somehow jeopardized an investigation or potential court case.”
Read the entire excerpt below:
Robert Pickton’s pig farm became the largest crime scene in Canadian history. RCMP have not commented on the scope of the the forensic search of the Silver Creek property and if it could possibly be the second largest archeological dig since the investigation into the pig farm.