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Investigation into missing Indigenous woman leads to homicide charge against B.C. man

Carmelita Abraham, 33, had been missing since late December
Takla First Nation shared the announcement of the loss of Carmelita Abraham late Friday, Jan. 14. (Facebook photo)

A Quesnel man has been charged in the disappearance and homicide of 33-year-old Carmelita Abraham, say police.

Abraham has been the focus of a missing persons investigation since Jan. 4 when the Williams Lake RCMP received a missing persons report from family. Investigators were able to confirm that Carmelita left Williams Lake for Quesnel on Dec. 27 or 28.

On Jan. 10 investigators from the BC RCMP-North District Major Crime Unit attended Quesnel and took conduct of the investigation with assistance from the Quesnel and Williams Lake RCMP, Cariboo Crime Reduction Unit, the North District General Investigation Section and Forensic Identification Sections, noted Staff Sgt. Janelle Shoihet, BC RCMP communications.

“Based on the totality of the information, the investigation turned from a missing persons investigation into a suspected homicide. The investigation continued to develop and on January 13, 51-year-old Quesnel resident, Joseph Simpson, was arrested.”

Shoilet said on Jan. 14, the BC Prosecution Service charged Simpson with murder and indignity to human remains in relation to the death of Carmelita. Simpson has been held in custody pending a future court date.

“This is a tragic incident that occurred between Joseph Simpson and Carmelita Abraham who were known to one another. We would like to extend our appreciation for the assistance and support from businesses and witnesses in this matter,” noted superintendent Sanjaya Wijayakoon of the BC RCMP Major Crime Unit in a news release issued by police Saturday morning.

Given this matter is now before the court, no further information will be released at this time, added Shoilet.

On social media, members of the Takla First Nation, north of Prince George, sent love and prayers to the family and friends of Carmelita.

The First Nation, where Abraham is from, confirmed that she was found deceased late Friday night.

Family declined further comment at this time.

Abraham had been missing since Dec. 28, sparking numerous search efforts as concerns for her well-being grew.

She usually spoke daily with her family.

On Facebook, Takla Chief John French and Regional Chief of the British Columbia Assembly of First Nations Terry Teegee thanked everyone who shared missing posters and helped.

“Prayer with all the family, friends and the community of Takla as we go through this sad time,” French wrote.

Read More: Concerned family, RCMP seek information about woman last seen in Cariboo area

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