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

Just Posted

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Jesse Roper tackles weeds in his garden to kick off the 2021 season of What’s In My Garden Man? (YouTube/Whats In My Garden)
VIDEO: Metchosin singer-songwriter Jesse Roper invites gardeners into his plot

What’s In My Garden, Man? kicks off with the poop on compost

A sketch of the multi-use path that will connect Lagoon Beach and Royal Beach in Colwood. (Sketch courtesy of the City of Colwood)
Concepts for Colwood beach connector coming to council June 21

Major infrastructure project includes gathering places, public amenities and pathways

The District of Sooke is looking to revamp its business licence bylaw. Council agreed recently that all businesses must hold a business licence to operate in the community. (Kevin Laird – Sooke News Mirror)
Sooke pushes ahead with new business licence bylaw

Proposal calls for all forms of business to require licensing, but bylaw can stil be tweaked

Victoria police are asking for witnesses who might have information about this tricycle that was stolen in downtown Victoria on Thursday. (Photo courtesy of VicPD)
Police seek witnesses after downtown Victoria company’s tricycle stolen

The three-wheeler was taken from the 2100-block of Store Street on Thursday

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

OPINION SIG
SOOKE HISTORY: A brief history of Bear Creek Camp

Malahat Logging Company began both Beach Camp and Bear Creek Camp

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Freighters have becomd abundant in the Trincomali Channel on the east side of Thetis Island.
Nanaimo ponders taking on waste from nearby anchored freighters

Vancouver-based Tymac petitioning the Regional District of Nanaimo to accept waste at its landfill

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

Most Read