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

Shady Lady: legendary Catalina touches down on Cowichan Lake

Two flying boats test the waters west of Youbou

Under new ownership, Cowichan’s Isles prepare for 2020-21

The Isles have gone through some ups and downs in recent seasons

Cowichan Valley Regional District will reopen three arenas in August

Ice will go back in at Lake Cowichan, Cowichan Community Centre and Kerry Park

Business notes: Salt Spring Therapeutic Riding Association launches program for front-line workers

A sample of what’s happening in Cowichan’s business community

UPDATE: RCMP use spike belts to end car chase — man in custody

The driver was arrested at the scene a short distance from his vehicle

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Fitness non-profit challenges citizens to invent a game to be physically active

The campaign was launched after a study showed only 4.8 per cent of children and youths in Canada met required standards of the 24-hour movement guidelines

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

The ice shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island has shrunk 43 per cent

RCMP looking for missing teen in Comox Valley

Jenessa Shacter was last seen going for a walk in downtown Courtenay

B.C. wildfire crews have battled 111 blazes in the last seven days

Twenty-nine fires remain active, as of Friday (Aug 7)

‘We don’t make the rules’: Okanagan pub owner says staff harassed over pandemic precautions

‘If you have six people plus a baby, guess what? That’s seven’ - West Kelowna Kelly O’Bryan’s owner

Most Read