A single RCMP vehicle was seen still blocking the entrance to the crime scene where three bodies were discovered along Melrose Road in Whiskey Creek, on Nov. 5. (Mandy Moraes photo)

A single RCMP vehicle was seen still blocking the entrance to the crime scene where three bodies were discovered along Melrose Road in Whiskey Creek, on Nov. 5. (Mandy Moraes photo)

Dead bodies probe: Did you pick up any hitchhikers near Whiskey Creek recently?

Police say two individuals leaving grisly scene may have flagged down passing motorist for a ride

Police are now actively seeking the public’s help as they investigate the grisly discovery of three bodies in a rural area west of Parksville.

In a release issued Friday, Nov. 6, RCMP reported the Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit (VIIMCU) has concluded its physical evidence gathering at the scene near the Melrose Forest Service Road in Whiskey Creek, where the bodies were discovered on Nov. 1.

Police stated two individuals were believed to have been near the scene on Highway 19 in the early morning of Nov. 1 and may have flagged down a motorist driving a light-coloured sedan who provided them with a ride. The driver who picked up these individuals is being asked to reach out to police. They unknowingly may have information crucial to this investigation.

READ MORE: Residents stunned by grisly discovery of 3 bodies in Vancouver Island gravel pit

READ MORE: Significant number of people living in remote areas near where 3 dead bodies found

Meanwhile, the gravel pit on Melrose Road is a popular area for quadders, dirt bikers and 4×4 enthusiasts. Investigators also hope to speak with anyone who was in the area on the evening of Nov. 1, or late Oct. 31, and who may have video footage, said Cpl. Chris Manseau, RCMP E Division media relations officer.

In the release police ask anyone with information to call the VIIMCU information line at 250-380-6211.

Sources have indicated to the PQB News that they believe two of the deceased are Shawn McGrath, 52, who was camped at that Whiskey Creek location just off Melrose Road, with his girlfriend Shanda Wilson, 38.

Sources also indicate several other members of the homeless community living in the area have been missing since the incident. Police said earlier this week they believe the deaths were targeted but there is no ‘ongoing’ risk to the public.

Regional District of Nanaimo Electoral Area F (Coombs, Hilliers, Errington, Whiskey Creek, Meadowood) director Leanne Salter said the land is likely owned by the Crown, and the surrounding forest is owned by timber companies.

Another PQB News source, Kelly, who requested to keep her last name private, said that there are hundreds of people experiencing homeless who live in the bush in Whiskey Creek, which is on the Alberni Highway, roughly mid-way between Coombs and Cameron Lake.

“They’ve always been there,” she said. “They’ve been there for a long time.”

She said there are a total of 16 bush camps that she visits and brings supplies to on a regular basis.

“It’s a bigger picture here, and it took a crime like this to actually bring it out. I’m not blaming anybody.”

She said the Parksville Qualicum Beach area needs a 24-hour shelter, a detox and treatment centre and low-income housing.

Kelly had been tipped off by a friend who normally calls to tell her when to go out to the camps. On Saturday, Oct. 31, her message from that friend had simply been “stay away from the camps.”

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.

mandy.moraes@pqbnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

Policequalicum beachRCMP

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Aerial view of the Capital Regional District residuals treatment facility at Hartland Landfill where residual solids are turned into Class A biosolids. (Photo courtesy CRD)
Plant closure sends more biosolids to Hartland Landfill

Saanich residents are concerned they were never consulted

Saanich Coun. Susan Brice and Mayor Fred Haynes are calling on the province to develop new solutions for emergency response to mental health crises with the consideration of a potential new 911 category. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Saanich mayor, councillor call for new solutions to mental health emergencies

Shifting response from police to trained mental health team the best option, mayor says

A COVID-19 vaccination clinic, operated by Island Health, has opened at the University of Victoria’s McKinnon Gym. (Photo courtesy of UVic)
COVID-19 vaccination clinic opens at University of Victoria

Clinic is staffed and operated by Island Health

Paul Lewis is the Goldstream Gazette’s 2021 Local Hero as Arts Advocate of the Year. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
West Shore driftwood sculptor inspired by Esquimalt Lagoon

Paul Lewis is the 2021 Arts Advocate of the Year

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

AstraZeneca’s vaccine ready for use at the vaccination centre in Apolda, Germany, Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Michael Reichel/dpa via AP
National panel advises against using Oxford-AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine on seniors

NACI panel said vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna are preferred for seniors ‘due to suggested superior efficacy’

A public health order has extended the types of health care professionals who can give the COVID-19 vaccine. (Photo courtesy of CHI Franciscan)
‘It’s great that midwives are included’ in rollout of B.C.’s COVID vaccine plan, says college

The order will help the province staff the mass vaccination clinics planned for April

Shipping containers are seen at the Fairview Cove Container Terminal in Halifax on Friday, Aug. 25, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Canadian economy contracted 5.4 per cent in 2020, worst year on record

Drop was largely due to shutdowns in the spring as COVID began to spread

The Nanaimo Clippers in action at Frank Crane Arena in early 2020. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo Clippers for sale, owner says hockey won’t be back to normal any time soon

Wes Mussio says he’s had numerous inquiries about the junior A club already

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation, May 8, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C.’s weekend COVID-19 cases: 532 Saturday, 508 Sunday, 438 Monday

Fraser Health still has most, eight more coronavirus deaths

Research shows that even 15 minutes of exercise every day has a positive impact on your health. (Pixabay photo)
RON CAIN: Popular myths about exercise

Research shows 15 minutes of exercise every day has a positive impact on your health

B.C. Attorney General David Eby speaks in the legislature, Dec. 7, 2020. Eby was given responsibility for housing after the October 2020 provincial election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. extends COVID-19 rent freeze again, to the end of 2021

‘Renoviction’ rules tightened, rent capped to inflation in 2022

Face mask hangs from a rear-view mirror. (Black Press image)
B.C. CDC unveils guide on how to carpool during the pandemic

Wearing masks, keeping windows open key to slowing the spread of COVID-19

Most Read