The Qualicum Beach Fire Department fire hall was used by Oceanside RCMP and Vancouver Island Major Crime Investigations Unit as command centre during a homicide investigation in 2020. (PQB News file photo)

The Qualicum Beach Fire Department fire hall was used by Oceanside RCMP and Vancouver Island Major Crime Investigations Unit as command centre during a homicide investigation in 2020. (PQB News file photo)

Qualicum Beach Fire Department, EMO honoured for help during homicide investigation

Certificate of appreciation presented to both groups

The Qualicum Beach Fire Department and Emergency Management Oceanside have been recognized for assisting police in a 2020 homicide investigation.

A large-scale investigation was undertaken following a report that three bodies were discovered in a rural area outside Qualicum Beach. It involved Oceanside RCMP, Vancouver Island Major Crime Investigations Unit (VIMCIU) and multiple other agencies.

The bodies were found on Nov. 1, 2020, after a person riding an off-road motorcycle near Whiskey Creek came across an unresponsive man. Upon further investigation of the area, police found a burned-out travel trailer with two deceased adults inside and another man in a separate trailer who had appeared to have been shot.

According to Janelle Shoihet, RCMP division senior media relations officer, as of Dec. 13, 2021, the investigation is still ongoing with VIMCIU.

READ MORE: RCMP seek public help as investigation continues into grisly discovery of 3 bodies near Whiskey Creek

Normally, investigators would have worked out of the local RCMP detachment but due to COVID-19 hosting the 30-plus investigators in the Oceanside detachment was not feasible as it would have been difficult to observe health protocols.

The Qualicum Beach Fire Department and Emergency Management Oceanside stepped up and offered access to the town’s fire hall to act as a command centre. This provided the RCMP and VIMCIU a secure location that could accommodate safe distancing, access to secure technology and was within close proximity to the crime scene while they investigated the tragic case.

In a ceremony on Dec. 8, the RCMP Major Crimes Section awarded the QBFD and EMO with a Certificate of Appreciation. This was presented by chief superintendent Elija Rain, officer in charge of E Division Major Crime Section.

“On behalf of the RCMP Major Crime Section, I would like to recognize the valuable support provided to the VIMCIU by the staff and volunteers of the QBFD and the EMO team during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Rain.”

— NEWS Staff, submitted

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