Friday, October 22, 2021

Naramata homicide victim not involved with drugs or gangs, friends say

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Friends grieving the loss of Kathy Richardson in Naramata, B.C., say she was not involved with drugs or gangs, and they are frustrated police have left the public with that impression.

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The body of 57-year-old Richardson was discovered inside her home in the 3900-block of 3 Street on June 9.

RCMP said officers visited the home in connection to last month’s double homicide of Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlos Fryer.

Read more:
Kamloops brothers identified as pair found dead near Penticton, B.C.

Their bodies were discovered by hikers up Naramata Creek Forest Service Road on May 10.

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Staff Sgt. Janelle Shoihet said Richardson’s house was unlocked so officers entered the home to ensure the well-being of the occupants.

“Once inside, the body of an adult woman was discovered. Her death is being investigated as a homicide,” she said.


Click to play video: 'Naramata homicide victim identified'







Naramata homicide victim identified


Naramata homicide victim identified

RCMP Supt. Sanjaya Wijayakoon said the investigation into the Fryer siblings murders is progressing and “we know that their deaths were not a random act and likely connected to local drug and gang activities.”

Read more:
‘It’s frightening. We don’t get murders in Naramata’: Okanagan community still reeling after bodies found

On Friday, RCMP publicly identified Richardson as Naramata’s third homicide victim in one month, and said the deaths are likely linked.

“All are likely connected to local drug and gang activities and the additional police resources supporting the investigations will remain in the area,” RCMP said.

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Close family friends of Richardson’s visited a growing memorial outside of her home on Sunday.

They said the hard-working single mom and hairdresser was in no way connected to the drug trade or gangs.

“She was a mamma-bear who wanted to get her kid out of hot water,” said one friend, who declined to give his name out of fear of reprisal.

They said Richardson’s adult son was involved with drugs and Richardson tried desperately to help him.

Another friend, Renee Matheson, described Richardson as generous, giving, enthusiastic, and a bright spirit who would help anybody with anything.

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Click to play video: 'Woman’s body discovered inside Naramata home'







Woman’s body discovered inside Naramata home


Woman’s body discovered inside Naramata home

She called the death “senseless” and said Richardson was an innocent victim of murder.

“Kathy was the kind of person who would come to anyone’s rescue if there was a need,” she said.

“She was a hard worker, and loved her community. There is a big void without her now and will always be.”

In November 2017, Kathy joined the Naramata Volunteer Fire Department (NVFD) as a volunteer member.

Read more:
Suspect charged with 2nd-degree murder in Alberta woman’s suspicious death in B.C., police say

“Kathy is a great example of how an individual can make a community a better place,” says Naramata Fire Chief Dennis Smith.

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“Kathy brought an exceptional skill set and compassion to people during medical emergencies. She was also deployed provincially as an NVFD team member during recent wildfire events. We will miss her.”


Click to play video: 'Woman’s body discovered inside Naramata home'







Woman’s body discovered inside Naramata home


Woman’s body discovered inside Naramata home

Friends described the chaos in the small, lakefront village over the past few days as police swarmed the neighbourhood.

They described the community as quiet and safe, where everyone left their doors unlocked at night. But not anymore.

“I’m shocked that something like that happened here for sure,” said resident Ivor Sanderson.

“It’s such a little town. Nothing ever happens here. But everything happened at once now.”

Read more:
Woman’s body discovered inside Naramata home; homicide linked to double killing in May, say police

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The memorial includes flowers, pictures of Kathy, and cards addressed to her and her family.

Police are asking for dashcam video from anyone who was driving in the Naramata area on Monday, June 6 through Wednesday, June 9.


Click to play video: 'Locals question RCMP’s slow release of information about targeted killing near Naramata'







Locals question RCMP’s slow release of information about targeted killing near Naramata


Locals question RCMP’s slow release of information about targeted killing near Naramata – May 12, 2021

RCMP maintain that all three victims were targeted and the general public is not at risk. The suspects in the trio of killings are still at large.

“ No one’s been arrested. The investigators are still looking closely at a number of individuals and when charges are approved or people are arrested we’re committed to providing that information as soon as possible,” Shoihet said.

Anyone who has any information about Kathleen’s death or the deaths of Erick and Carlos Fryer is asked to contact the RCMP Southeast District Major Crime Unit tip line at 1-877-987-8477.

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-With files from Jules Knox 




© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.





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