Vancouver – A 27-year-old man has been charged with first degree murder in the death of a Belgian tourist found slain near Highway 1 north of Boston Bar.
Integrated homicide investigators picked up the suspect after an intense investigation following the discovery of the body of 28-year-old Amelie Sakkalis.
She was believed to be hitchhiking from Penticton to Vancouver at the time of her murder.
Facing a first degree murder charge is Sean McKenzie of Oliver, B.C. McKenzie was arrested on September 14. He is to appear in provincial court on September 19.
Police had said earlier that a vehicle was found nearby and a man had been arrested but released pending further investigation. Police did not say if McKenzie was the same man arrested near the scene of the murder.
“On August 22, 2018 at approximately 7:45 p.m., the RCMP was called to an area north of Boston Bar near Highway 1 where they found the body of 28-year-old Amelie Sakkalis, a Belgian national who was travelling in Canada,” said Cpl. Frank Jang.
“The death of Miss Sakkalis was deemed a homicide and the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team was called in to take conduct of the investigation,” he said.
“Since the initial deployment, IHIT detectives have diligently advanced this investigation and collected significant evidence with respect to the murder of Miss Sakkalis.
“Now, after less than four weeks following Miss Sakkalis’ death, the investigative journey has yielded a criminal charge against the primary suspect.”
“IHIT investigators worked relentlessly to secure and compile the evidence for charge approval and today’s outcome would not have been possible without the tremendous support of our partners,” said Jang.
“Amelie’s family in Belgium was notified of the developments in her case and IHIT hopes this will assist them in their healing process.””
Anyone with information, who has not already come forward to police, is asked to contact the IHIT information line at 1-877-551-IHIT (4448) or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org