Okanagan sighting not yet ruled out in case of missing Victoria pair found dead

Meanwhile twin brother of deceased believes car never left the Island

The sighting of a missing Victoria couple’s vehicle in Vernon has not been ruled out despite the pair possibly being found dead on Vancouver Island.

James Evans, 23, and 36-year-old Easha Rayel, are believed to be the people found deceased in a crashed BMW off of the Pat Bay Highway near Saanich on Saturday, Aug. 24.

“We believe we had a confirmed sighting in Vernon,” said Sidney-North Saanich RCMP Const. Meighan de Pass.

The department confirmed that Evans’ blue 2002 BMW 325i was in Vernon on the afternoon of Monday, Aug. 12.

READ MORE: Car of missing Victoria pair found in Vernon

Meanwhile, Evans’ identical twin brother, Zach, believes the pair died the same day they were last seen.

He said his brother was last seen on Aug. 9 around 8 p.m. by some friends at a Chevron gas station in Sidney. Zach logged into his brother’s Facebook account and saw that his last message had been sent at 11 p.m. that night. He believes he may have picked up Rayel shortly after and was heading north towards his mother’s house, which was near the ferry terminal when the accident occurred.

The dark blue BMW was travelling northbound on Highway 17 when it veered off the highway just north of McDonald Road, and plunged down a deep ravine. Sidney-North Saanich RCMP said the vehicle was obscured by thick, natural brush. They believe the bodies to be that of Rayel and Evans.

Now in the hands of BC Coroner Service, RCMP said they can’t comment on how long the vehicle was there. That does little to comfort Evans, who believes police efforts were wasted on what he says was a false sighting in Vernon.

“It’s just horrible that the police tried focusing their efforts and power in Vernon on this false statement but could have done a better job focusing in Sidney, closer to home.”

Until the coroner can confirm how long the bodies were at the crash site, RCMP are still not ruling out the Vernon sighting.

“We haven’t disproven that either at this time,” said de Pass, adding that it is a sad turn of events.

“Unfortunately not everything works out, we were hoping that they were up there (Vernon) travelling.”

– with files from Nina Grossman, Black Press Media

READ MORE: Police criticized in case of B.C. man found dead weeks after being reported missing


@VernonNews
jennifer@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Castlegar musician holding benefit launch party

Steve Marc is releasing his album Feb 21

Supreme Court of Canada will hear Sinixt appeal May 12

B.C. has appealed aboriginal hunting case through several levels of court starting in Nelson in 2016

Burglar swims across Columbia River to evade Trail police

RCMP Cpl. Devon Reid says the incident began the evening of Thursday, Feb. 20

Fire destroys Fauquier restaurant

Early-morning blaze destroys Mushroom Addition

Salmo RCMP report drug bust

Fentanyl, methamphetamine and cocaine were seized along with Canadian cash

VIDEO: Illicit drug overdoses killed 981 in B.C. in 2019, down 38%

Chief coroner says figures were down about a third in the province’s fourth year of the opioid crisis

VIDEO: B.C.’s seventh coronavirus patient at home in Fraser Health region

Canada in ‘containment’ as COVID-19 spreads in other countries

B.C. takes over another Retirement Concepts senior care home

Summerland facility latest to have administrator appointed

RCMP pull office from Wet’suwet’en territory, but hereditary chiefs still want patrols to end

Chief says temporary closure of field office not enough as Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute drags on

Prescription opioids getting B.C. addicts off ‘poisoned’ street drugs

Minister Judy Darcy says Abbotsford pilot project working

Royals, Elvis, Captain Cook: Hundreds of wax figures find new life in B.C. man’s home

Former director of Victoria’s Royal London Wax Museum still hopes to revive wax figure tourism

Teck CEO says Frontier withdrawal a result of tensions over climate, reconciliation

Don Lindsay speaks at mining conference, a day after announcing suspension of oilsands project

‘Hilariously bad’: RCMP looking for couple with forged, paper Alberta licence plate

Mounties said the car crashed when it lost a wheel but the duo ran away as police arrived

UPDATE: Two missing scout leaders found near Sooke after swollen creek traps troop

Third leader and scouts located, prior to search for two leaders who’d gone for help

Most Read