Entries in British Columbia (7)


Police Seek Help in Solving Gruesome Hoax

ABC News(VICTORIA, British Columbia) -- Police in British Columbia are asking for the public’s help in finding the person responsible for filling three child-sized shoes with “meat-like” material and leaving them on a public beach.

A tourist found one shoe on Thursday and alerted authorities, who uncovered the other two shoes during a search of Clover Point Beach in the city of Victoria.

The tourist was said to be “quite shaken” by the discovery, which closed down the beach for several hours.

A pathologist confirmed on Friday that the substance inside the shoes was not consistent with human remains.

Over the past few years, twelve other shoes with human remains have washed up on beaches in British Columbia and neighboring Washington state, ABC News’ Seattle affiliate reported.

Victoria police plan to show the shoes to the public this week in hopes someone will help them identify the person responsible for perpetrating the hoax.

Public mischief carries a possible five-year prison sentence in Canada, according to Victoria police.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


British Columbia 186 MPH Biker in Viral Video Turns Himself In

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(KELOWNA, British Columbia) -- The motorcyclist who shot a viral video of himself speeding down a Canadian highway at more than 186 miles per hour appeared in court Wednesday after he turned himself in to police.

Randy Scott, 25, was set to be released from jail once he pays $500 bail and a $2,000 surety, though a Victoria judge ordered him not to drive any motorized vehicle -- including scooters and all-terrain vehicles as a condition of his release, criminal justice branch spokesman Neil MacKenzie said.

Scott is charged with dangerous operation of a motor vehicle for allegedly weaving through traffic at nearly four times the speed limit on the Trans-Canada Highway near the town of Saanich on Vancouver Island in April. In the video, which Scott posted to YouTube on April 8, the speedometer on his motorcycle tops out at 299 kilometers per hour (186 mph), but his engine can still be heard accelerating at that speed, suggesting that his maximum speed was far higher.

The video has been seen nearly 1.2 million times.

While the video accumulated viewers the continent over, authorities in British Columbia were for weeks unable to track down the daredevil biker. But the video ultimately proved to be Scott's undoing -- tips from viewers drew the attention of law enforcement to Scott, who was charged July 10.

"I can't stress it strongly enough -- we 100 percent could not have achieved the information to pursue charges without tips from the public," said Saanich Police Sgt. Dean Jantzen. "We were completely blown away at the response we got."

Within days of the video's publication, Saanich police seized the motorcycle, a blue Yamaha R1 sports bike, from a public garage and issued its owner, Scott's mother, nearly $1,500 in traffic fines. That helped narrow the investigation, Jantzen said, but tips from viewers of the video were necessary to persuade British Columbia prosecutors to approve charges.

In the weeks that followed, investigators visited Scott's family and friends near his Victoria, B.C., home and elsewhere in Canada, working with law enforcement agencies as far as Edmonton, where Scott had previously lived.

"We upped the pressure on him," Jantzen said. "There were lots of phone calls and door knocks. It appears to have had the right results."

On Tuesday evening, Scott surrendered, turning himself in to Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Kelowna, B.C., about 300 miles from Saanich.

After Scott identified himself and said there was a warrant for his arrest, an officer was called to place him under arrest, RMCP Constable Kris Clark, adding, "It was pretty uneventful."

Jantzen said Scott's adventure was particularly dangerous because it took place at 4 p.m. -- the beginning of rush hour -- in a portion of the highway that serves as the main corridor between Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, and its suburbs.

"You can't watch that video without your blood pressure spiking," Jantzen said. "It's very intense, a very dramatic bit of driving."

Scott, who faces a penalty of up to six months in jail and a $5,000 fine, is due back in court for a hearing Aug. 16, MacKenzie said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Feet That Washed Ashore in Northwest Identified

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW WESTMINSTER, B.C.) -- Two of the mysterious 12 feet that have washed ashore near Vancouver recently have been identified as belonging to a missing Canadian woman.

The woman, whose name was withheld at the request of her family, jumped to her death from the Pattullo Bridge in New Westminster, B.C., in April 2004, according to the Coroners Service.

The woman’s right foot was found in May 2008, and the left was in November 2008, at two different points in the Fraser River near Richmond, B.C.  The feet, which police said detached naturally from the body over time, were in New Balance running shoes.

The Coroners Service identified the woman through a postmortem investigation and DNA analysis, according to a statement.

Eleven feet in all have washed ashore on the Northwestern coast since 2007, when the phenomenon began. Canadian authorities have said that the eight feet in their province are most likely the result of suicide bridge-jumpers in the area’s many water-ways. After being submerged in water and strong currents, bodies begin to deteriorate, leading to the separation of foot from the leg.

Police say the buoyant, lightweight sneakers found on most of the feet account for the recent trend: as the feet separate from the body, the sneakers carry them up to the surface, where they then wash ashore. Heavier sneakers and shoes sink to the bottom.

The BC Coroners Service has now positively identified six of the feet as belonging to four individuals.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Abducted Canadian Boy Returned Home Unharmed

Hemera Technologi​es/Thinkst​ock(SPARWOOD, British Columbia) -- A 3-year-old Canadian boy was returned unharmed to his home four days after he was abducted in Sparwood, British Columbia, according to police.

Police received an anonymous phone call at 3 a.m. Sunday morning alerting them that the missing boy, Kienan Hebert, could be found in his home.

Officers arrived to find the boy sitting alone on a couch with a blanket, appearing happy and unharmed, according to CTV News, but he was taken to the hospital to be examined as a precaution.

Investigators believe the suspected kidnapper returned the boy to his home, Royal Canadian Mounted Police Cpl. Dan Moskaluk told CTV News.

“We’ve got a child back. We’ve got a child returned. I’ve never been able to say that,” Moskaluk said. “Half of this is over now.”

Since the boy went missing, the home has been cordoned off and unoccupied, as Kienan’s parents moved into a neighbor’s home.

Police are now searching for the suspect.

The only suspect identified in the case is Randall Hopley, a 46-year-old convicted sex offender from the Sparwood area who has at least 11 assault and burglary convictions. Hopley is also charged with squatting for months last year in a cabin filled with stolen children’s clothing, chocolate bars and sex toys, according to CTV News.

Hopley has at least 11 assault and burglary convictions, and was also accused of attempting to abduct and molest a Sparwood boy in 2007, according to CTV News.

For now, community members, many of whom have spent days searching for Kienan, said they are relieved by the surprise return.

“It’s like nothing ever happened,” Paul Hebert, the boy’s father, told CTV News.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


6.7 Earthquake Hits Canadian Provinces

Jason Reed/Thinkstock(VANCOUVER ISLAND, British Columbia) -- A powerful 6.7 magnitude quake with a 6.7 stuck Friday off of Vancouver Island in Canada, according to the U.S. Geological survey.  Officials say the location of the quake was centered at Port Alice of Vancouver Island.

Though the quake could be felt in downtown Vancouver, the Lower Mainland, east to Kelowna, British Columbia and as far south as Seattle, Wash., officials have not issued warnings of tsunami.

So far, cases of injury or damage have not been reported.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Foot Washes Ashore in Canada, the 11th Since 2007

False Creek, with the Vancouver skyline in the background, is the latest location officials say a dismembered foot, complete with running shoe, was found. Liz Whitaker/The Image Bank (VANCOUVER) -- Another human foot has washed ashore in British Columbia, keeping investigators on their toes in the case of 11 mysterious feet in running shoes that have appeared on area beaches since 2007.

Eight feet have washed up around Vancouver and three feet have come ashore in nearby Washington State since 2007, according to Stephen Fonseca of the British Columbia Coroners Service. None of the cases have been deemed suspicious.

Fonseca said that human remains can come apart naturally in a water environment, and with the high amount of marine activity, beaches, and people involved in accidents in the water, it's likely that these are all unrelated cases. He also noted that there are many bridges over waterways in the area, and distraught people who may have jumped could also be a cause for the body parts washing up on shore.

"Running shoes of today are more buoyant," he said, "and it's a very rational explanation that when the feet do disarticulate, through marine scavenging and decomposition, the shoe will bring the foot back up to the surface and it will float there until it reaches shoreline."

The Coroners Service will try to build a profile of the person to whom the foot belonged through DNA testing as well as spatial and temporal profiles based on where and when the shoe arrived, how old the foot is, and when the running shoe was made, he said.

"When dealing with feet, we don't have the luxury of building up a very comprehensive profile, with blue eyes and blond hair. A 16-year-old could have the same size shoe as a 65-year-old," he said.

Fonseca and other coroners would be going over the foot to ensure that it was a human remain, and then would begin compiling information on what they called its "donor." The process could take weeks or months, at which time the data would be compared to missing persons lists, he said.

This foot was found in an inlet near False Creek, a protected body of water, he said, while other feet were found on beaches and nearby islands. He hoped the location of this foot would be helpful to determining its origin.

The investigators are still working to identify the donors of other feet, including a female who had two feet wash up on shore, and a male who had one foot wash up on shore.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Canada: 100 Sled Dogs Brutally Murdered, Dumped In Grave

File photo. Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WHISTLER, Canada) -- Canadian police are investigating the execution of 100 sled dogs that were reportedly shot and stabbed, then dumped into a mass grave in British Columbia.

Authorities say an employee from Whistler-based Outdoor Adventures killed the dogs last spring, then filed a claim with British Columbia’s Workers’ Compensation Board, citing a case of post-traumatic stress.

The killings came to light after the results of the claim were made public.

The Toronto Sun, which obtained a copy of the report, says the worker was ordered to kill a third of the company’s dogs as a result of a downturn in business.

The employee executed the animals over a two-day period, because, according to the report obtained by the Sun, the worker’s job “included herd control.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio