Tragedy in St. Felix

Wayne Thibodeau wthibodeau@theguardian.pe.ca
Published on June 21, 2013

ST. FELIX — A P.E.I. community has been left in shock after a burnt-out Jeep was discovered down an isolated dirt road with two bodies inside.

A passerby made the gruesome discovery in St. Felix, a small western Prince Edward Island community only a stone’s throw away from Tignish.

Police are describing the incident as an isolated act. They  say there is no reason for residents in the neighbouring communities to be concerned for their safety.

Scrollable map of scene

However, RCMP Sgt. Andrew Blackadar also says the investigation is only in the preliminary stages.

“It’s very early in the investigation to determine exactly what transpired, however all indications at this point is that it was a targeted act,” Blackadar said in an interview with The Guardian.

“We are still canvassing people in the area, we’re talking to family members of the person we believed to be deceased, we’re going back to try and retrace the last steps of that vehicle.”

A passerby noticed the burning Jeep at 110 Martin Road in St. Felix at 1 a.m. Friday morning. The burning vehicle was only a short distance from the main road connecting the Town of Alberton with the Community of Tignish.

The Tignish fire department was called and put out the fire.

Only when the fire was extinguished did firefighters discover the two bodies inside the car.

By this time, the RCMP was already on the scene.

“When they opened the vehicle they saw two bodies inside the vehicle,” Blackadar said.

The RCMP’s major crime unit, the fire marshal’s office as well as the chief coroner are working together to try to piece together what unfolded along that dark, dirt road in the wee hours of Friday morning.

Police have contacted family members about the possible identity of the victims. They do know who owned the vehicle.

But they say it will take days to positively identify who was inside the black Jeep Wrangler because the vehicle was so badly burned.

Autopsies were performed Friday evening in Halifax. Dental records are also being secured in an effort to identify the two individuals. Because of that police are not releasing any further information about who may have died inside the vehicle.

The cause of death is also still unknown.

Blackadar did confirm that neither of the deceased are from the St. Felix area, but rather are believed to be from the greater Charlottetown area.

Police say they do not have any known connections to the St. Felix area.

“That’s one of the mysteries right now.”

Blackadar said part of their investigation has led police to believe that a third party is not involved. He said a police dog brought in to investigate did not pick up any trace of anybody leaving the scene of the vehicle.

The police also know more about the individual who owned the vehicle, however they are not releasing any of those details at this time.

Police are asking anybody with information related to this discovery to contact the RCMP.

More information will be released early next week. Police are planning to hold a news conference as early as Monday.

Blackadar said the RCMP’s forensic identification unit will be pouring over every inch of the vehicle in an attempt to piece together what unfolded.

There were no weapons found in the vehicle, or anywhere in the area, which was also extensively searched.

But Blackadar said the extent of the fire damage will make that hunt for clues more challenging.

“First responders are shocked too,” said Blackadar.

“They weren’t expecting to discover that because they thought it was a routine incident.”

 

wthibodeau@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/GuardianWayne