It has been four years since Leanne MacFarlane and Jeffrey Taylor were killed in a house just outside Cranbrook in what police call a horrendous case of mistaken identity.
MacFarlane, 43, and Taylor, 42, had been living in the house beside the Highway 3/93 rest stop in Mayook for three months on May 29, 2010.
That morning, the couple were shot in their home. MacFarlane died at the scene; Taylor died of his injuries later that day. Police quickly determined it was a case of mistaken identity.
No arrests have ever been made, and Cpl. Jason Smart with the Southeast District Major Crimes Unit said the RCMP is still very much investigating the case.
“We are still actively investigating this matter. It’s not something we have ever stopped investigating; we will continue on with this until we get some kind of resolution,” said Cpl. Smart.
Major Crimes, based in Kelowna, investigates serious crimes throughout B.C.’s southern interior. Cpl. Smart heads a team of investigators that regularly travels to Cranbrook to pursue tips on the case.
“We are still getting tips and we are still following up and we have a team dedicated to solving this,” he said.
At the time of the double homicide, RCMP said the home that MacFarlane and Taylor were renting had until recently been lived in by one of the men charged in connection with a shooting outside the Sam Steele Hotel in October 2009.
Three Cranbrook men were found guilty in a conspiracy to commit murder trial in April 2013 in a gang-related crime connected to the Mayook homicide, but that trial does not resolve the murder of MacFarlane and Taylor, Cpl. Smart said.
“(The conspiracy trial) was separate to the homicide investigation.”
It’s important that anyone in the community with information connected to the homicide, however small, come forward, he went on.
“This was two innocent people in a case of mistaken identity. It was a horrendous act of violence. I would hope that if people did have information, that they would forward it on to their local RCMP,” said Cpl. Smart.
Both victims have family members who are desperate to see charges laid against those who murdered their loved ones.
“It is obviously emotionally tough for their family members. It’s been four years and it’s still hard on them.”
You can anonymously report tips through East Kootenay Crime Stoppers, phone 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), the Cranbrook RCMP detachment at 250-489-3471, email firstname.lastname@example.org or online at www.cintek.com/crimestoppers/tips.html.
A Facebook group has been set up related to the crime. Find it by searching Facebook for “Leanne MacFarlane and Jeffrey Taylor-May 29 2010 unsolved murder case”.
“We follow up every lead. Every tip or bit of information we get, we follow it up,” said Cpl. Smart.