Police are analyzing potential new evidence they hope is related to last year’s hit-and-run killing of Terrace resident Cameron Kerr.
At the request of the RCMP, on the weekend of April 13 about 30 members of both the Terrace and Prince Rupert Search and Rescue organizations combed a few kilometres of grass and shrub alongside Hwy 16 west of Terrace.
“We were looking for anything that I would deem evidentiary,” says RCMP Sgt. Shawn McLaughlin. “We’re searching a rural area so you can imagine there’s going to be a lot of discarded items in the ditches. This is a motor vehicle collision so we’re going to be looking for car parts, but other things too, possibly a discarded wallet—I tried to keep it rather broad for what could be seen as pertinent.
“There were a number of items seized.”
The search for evidence was called off last year as the weather deteriorated and winter snow fell. Police investigators had planned to continue the search as soon as weather and climate permitted.
“The weather cooperated with us quite well, and as far as evidence goes we found lots of stuff that fit the categories and passed that along to the RCMP,” says Jordy Bouillet, a safety officer with Prince Rupert SAR.
Those items were given to forensics for analysis and comparison with existing evidence.
Cameron Kerr, 30, was killed on Nov. 18 last year while walking home along Hwy 16 after attending the wake of a friend just west of Terrace. Police believe an oncoming pickup struck him at high speed sometime between 3 a.m. and 7 a.m. His body was discovered in the ditch around noon later that day.
Public tips led investigators to Haida Gwaii where they questioned seven people, all believed to be visitors to the islands, and seized pickups, trailers and boats. A resident of the Lower Mainland was taken into custody but later released as police did not have enough evidence to lay charges.
Since then the Kerr family has made two public appeals for witnesses to come forward. The police are also renewing their call for information from the public, and expressed gratitude for the help from SAR.
Ten members of the Prince Rupert SAR travelled to join Terrace SAR in the search for evidence. The two organizations have been working together more frequently in the past year to strengthen ties and take advantage of mentoring opportunities for the younger Prince Rupert organization.
“We’re very thankful for the assistance of the Search and Rescues teams —it was really impressive,” says McLaughlin.
Anyone with information related to the investigation is asked to call RCMP Sgt. Shawn McLaughlin at 250-638-7438 or anonymously through Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).