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

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Four air ambulance flights out of Terrace delayed or cancelled

Pandemic precautions caused nighttime closure of service station providing weather data to pilots

Skeena Resources, Tahltan prez excited by purchase of Eskay Creek

Skeena gets full control of mine, Barrick gets 12 per cent of Skeena and a one per cent royalty

VIA Rail lays off 1,000 unionized workers across the country

Northern B.C. route Jasper to Prince George to Prince Rupert is not affected by VIA Rail layoffs

Overall house sales drop in the northwest

COVID-19 pandemic slowed market activity

Recent surge in COVID-19 cases not unexpected amid Phase Three of reopening: B.C.’s top doc

Keep circles small, wear masks and be aware of symptoms, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. NDP changing WorkSafeBC regulations to respond to COVID-19

Employers say reclassifying coronavirus could be ‘ruinous’

Baby raccoon rescued from 10-foot deep drainage pipe on Vancouver Island

‘Its cries were loud, pitiful and heartbreaking,’ Saanich animal control officer says

Statistical flaws led to B.C. wolf cull which didn’t save endangered caribou as estimated

Study finds statistical flaws in an influential 2019 report supporting a wolf cull

Windows broken, racist graffiti left on Okanagan home

Family says nothing like this has happened since they moved to Summerland in 1980s

B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’ charged with sex assault of teenage boys

The man, 75, is accused of assaulting teenage boys he met through Coquitlam-area churches

B.C.’s potential deficit $12.5 billion as spending spikes, taxes drop

Finance Minister Carole James gives COVID-19 outlook

Canadians torn on scaling back COVID-19 benefits to save money: poll

Of those surveyed, 78 per cent said they were worried about the size of the deficit

‘Trauma equals addiction’: Why some seek solace in illicit drugs

Part 2: Many pushed into addiction by ‘toxic stress,’ says White Rock psychologist

Most Read