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

Protesters stand in front of a truck carrying logs to the WFP Ladysmith log sort. (Cole Schisler photo)
Protesters block entrance to Western Forest Products in Ladysmith

Blockade cleared by Ladysmith RCMP around noon, December 2

Chemainus Fire Department members ventilate smoke at the former Kinney Clothing Co. location after a call Saturday afternoon. (Photo by Andrea Rondeau)
Fire crews ventilate smoke at former Kinney Clothing Co. location

Industrial floor sander dust collection bag overheats

The Chemainus Theatre Festival’s Playbill Dining Room reopened to host small musical performances. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Chemainus Theatre receives Island Coastal Economic Trust funding

Project will involve recording and live-streaming Playbill Presents series content

Beautiful morning with the sun peaking through, as viewed from Thetis Island. (Photo by Kelly Bannister)
November characterized by a record high, no snow and plenty of rain in Chemainus region

Temperature almost hits the 20 degree Celsius mark on Nov. 4

The CVRD will reconsider its policies on fireworks after receiving complaints. (File photo)
CVRD considers options for fireworks after receiving complaints

District only allows fireworks on Halloween and New Year’s Eve, with a permit

12-year-old Ella Smiley captured some video of orcas on a sea lion hunt on Nov. 28 at Kitty Coleman Park, just north of Courtenay. Photo by Ella Smiley
VIDEO: Orcas hunt sea lion near Vancouver Island shoreline

Twelve-year-old Ella Smiley, of Comox Valley Wildlife Sightings, caught up with a… Continue reading

B.C. Premier John Horgan on a conference call with religious leaders from his B.C. legislature office, Nov. 18, 2020, informing them in-person church services are off until further notice. (B.C. government)
B.C. tourism relief coming soon, Premier John Horgan says

Industry leaders to report on their urgent needs next week

Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy are inviting audiences into their home for ‘A Celtic Family Christmas’. (Submitted)
Natalie MacMaster coming to you through Cowichan Performing Arts Centre

Here’s your chance to enjoy the famed fiddler in an online show with her husband Donnell Leahy.

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

An RCMP cruiser looks on as a military search and rescue helicopter winds down near Bridesville, B.C. Tuesday, Dec. 1. Photo courtesy of RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey
B.C. Mountie, suspect airlifted by Canadian Armed Forces from ravine after foot chase

Military aircraft were dispatched from Comox, B.C., say RCMP

A logo for Netflix on a remote control is seen in Portland, Ore.,Aug. 13, 2020. Experts in taxation and media say a plan announced Monday by the government will ultimately add to the cost of digital services and goods sold by foreign companies. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Jenny Kane
‘Netflix tax’ for digital media likely to raise prices for consumers, experts say

The government says Canadian companies already collect those taxes when they make digital sales

BIG SALMON ranch in Washington State. (Center for Whale Research handout)
Non-profit buys Chinook ranch in hopes of increasing feed for southern resident killer whales

The ranch, which borders both sides of Washington State’s Elwha River, is a hotspot for chinook salmon

Gaming content was big on YouTube in 2020. (Black Press Media files)
What did Canadians watch on Youtube during isolation? Workouts, bird feeders

Whether it was getting fit or ‘speaking moistly,’ Canadians had time to spare this year

Most Read