Mounties have identified the body found at the Dotmar pulp mill in Kamloops as David Michael Jeff, an evacuee from last summer’s wildfire.
Jeff, 67, was among the Williams Lake residents who were evacuated to Kamloops last July during the 2017 wildfires.
“Jeff had been reported missing on July 31, 2017, resulting in an extensive investigation being undertaken, which included search efforts being conducted by the Kamloops RCMP, family and friends,” said Cpt. Jodi Shelkie, in a press release.
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“At this time the investigative and forensic findings indicate that his death is non-suspicious in nature. The Kamloops RCMP continue to assist the Coroners Office with their investigation into Jeff’s death.”
As the search got underway, Jeff was identified as one of Williams Lake’s most visible and vulnerable residents.
Canadian Mental Health Association homelessness worker Wayne Lucier told the Williams Lake Tribune he has travelled to Kamloops, Prince George and Quesnel spending hours looking for Jeff and handing out posters.
He believed that Jeff would be found safe, so long as the weather remained warm.
READ MORE: DAVID JEFF STILL MISSING
One of the people who saw Jeff in Kamloops during the evacuation was Ollie Martens.
“He was standing about a block from the main emergency centre,” Martens said, in an interview with the Tribune. “I said ‘hi David’ and he had that little grin of his that is just his.”
Martens volunteers with St. Vincent de Paul and enjoyed serving Jeff soup in Boitanio Park on Sundays.
“He is our lovable friend,” she said. “We gave him mitts constantly because he would lose them all the time, but he is one of those types of people who has to handle things on their own terms.”
Kamloops RCMP investigators are seeking the public’s assistance in determining a time line of Mr. Jeff’s activities prior to his death and how he came to be in the area where his body was found.
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To this end, Kamloops RCMP are asking anyone who spent time with David Jeff last summer to contact them. Specifically, if you know where he spent time during the day or where he was sleeping at night, the police would like to talk to you.
Please contact the Kamloops RCMP at 250-828-3000 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
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