An autopsy of human remains found in a burned-out SUV discovered off Westside Road Sept. 20, 2020, are those of Erin Chelsea Borgford, 27, of Whitehorse. Her death is being treated as a homicide. (RCMP Handout)

2 Okanagan homicides in 12 days under investigation by major crime unit

RCMP believe homicide victims, linked to Yukon drug trade, targeted

Two Vernon area homicides in 12 days, with victims linked to the Yukon drug trade, are under investigation and police believe the incidents were targeted.

Human remains found in a burned-out vehicle off Westside Road on Sunday, Sept. 20, were identified on Oct. 2 as 27-year-old Erin Borgford of Whitehorse.

On Oct. 1, RCMP responded to a medical distress call in Coldstream. An hours-long investigation led to the closure of Aberdeen and Kalamalka roads. Police deemed the incident a homicide on Monday, Oct. 5, after 27-year-old Zacheriah Bradley, of Vernon, died in hospital from his injuries.

“The victim, who had been shot, happened to gain entry into the home of a medical professional who provided enhanced care while awaiting the arrival of emergency paramedics,” said Staff Sgt. Scott Aschenbrenner of the Southeast District Major Crime Unit.

The major crime unit is conducting investigations into both homicides.

“The investigative teams are aware of the geographic proximity of the two cases,” RCMP media relations officer Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey said Tuesday, Oct. 6.

Major crime investigators are in contact with each other to ensure any possible overlapping information between the two incidents is investigated thoroughly, O’Donaghey said.

“No arrests have been made at this time,” he said. “RCMP wish to reassure the general public that each of these incidents are believed to be targeted and not random in nature.”

Borgford was arrested in Whitehorse on March 4 along with two others. The Yukon RCMP’s Crime Reduction Unit seized drug paraphernalia, suspected heroin and cash. The three were charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking.

Three years prior, Bradley pleaded guilty in Whitehorse to five of 23 charges, including possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking and possession of weapons. The then 24-year-old was sentenced to two years plus one day in prison and was issued a 10-year firearms ban.

Territorial Court Judge Michael Cozens noted in his 2017 decision this was Bradley’s first conviction as an adult or a youth related to possession or trafficking drugs, but acknowledged his lengthy record going back to his youth in Vernon, which includes assault with a weapon and armed robbery.

“I really do wish you the best, Mr. Bradley, with trying to turn your life away from where the pattern has brought you,” the judge concluded. “I will not tell you it will be easy but you can do it.”

It is still unconfirmed if the victims knew each other.

READ MORE: Homicide investigation underway after Coldstream incident

READ MORE: Suspected human remains found in burned-out vehicle on OKIB land


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

RCMP

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP responded to reports of a man in medical distress Oct. 1, 2020. An investigation closed Kalamalka Road around Howe Drive for several hours. Spray paint marks reddish stains along the roadway. (Caitlin Clow - Vernon Morning Star)

Just Posted

Janet Austin, lieutenant governor of B.C., was presented with the first poppy of the Royal Canadian Legion’s 2020 Poppy Campaign on Wednesday. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
PHOTOS: B.C. Lieutenant Governor receives first poppy to kick off 2020 campaign

Janet Austin ‘honour and a privileged’ to receive the poppy

The street value of the more than one-and-a-quarter kilograms of cocaine seized by VicPD officers was over $150,000. (Courtesy of VicPD)
Victoria police seize fentanyl, more than $150,000-worth of cocaine

Charges laid against two Victoria men in months-long investigation

Investigators seized sophisticated equipment including credit card embossers, credit card PIN machines, heavy duty printers and computers used to create fraudulent cards. (West Shore RCMP handout)
West Shore RCMP arrest two, find 1,000 pieces of stolen ID in Langford

Investigation began after fraudulent bank draft used to buy vehicle in Colwood

Items seized over four days of targeted vehicle checks Nanaimo and Victoria by members of the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of B.C. (CFSEU-BC photo)
Gang enforcement team seizes drugs and weapons in Victoria and Nanaimo

Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of B.C. checked 33 vehicles over four days

Sam Liu, an assistant professor of kinesiology at UVic, has found extroverts, particularly people who are very active and social, are experiencing higher levels of distress throughout the pandemic. (Provided by UVic Photo Services)
University of Victoria study finds extroverts experiencing higher stress levels during pandemic

Degree of extroversion influences individual perception of stress during the pandemic

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps by 287, another senior home outbreak

Two more deaths recorded, community outbreak in Okanagan

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Oct. 27

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Cowichan Search and Rescue set up near the Silver Bridge in Duncan on Wednesday morning, Oct. 28, 2020 to rescue a dog from the Cowichan River. (Citizen file)
Cowichan Search and Rescue save dog from icy Cowichan River

Search and Rescue’s swiftwater team was called in

Premier-elect John Horgan and cabinet ministers are sworn in for the first time at Government House in Victoria, July 18, 2017. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)
Pandemic payments have to wait for B.C. vote count, swearing-in

Small businesses advised to apply even if they don’t qualify

The Calgary Zoo is aiding in recovery efforts for the Vancouver Island marmot, an endangered species. Pictured here, a marmot at Mount Washington. (Black Press file)
Despite challenges, 2020 good year for Vancouver Island marmot population

In 2019, the foundation counted 60 pups; this year, it reached 46

A raccoon paid a visit to a Toronto Tim Hortons on Oct. 22, 2020. (shecallsmedrew/Twitter)
Who are you calling a trash panda? Raccoon takes a shift at Toronto Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons said animal control was called as soon they saw the surprise visitor

The duffel bags were found to contain 84 pounds of cocaine, valued at approximately $1.2 million and 198 pounds of methamphetamine, valued at approximately $960,000. Photo courtesy U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
2 men accused of fleeing border agents near U.S.-B.C. border with $2M in drugs

Cocaine and methamphetamine seized by U.S. law enforcement in remote Idaho area near Canadian border

FILE – The Queen of Alberni ferry leaves the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal in Delta bound for Vancouver Island, Sunday, July 29, 2007. (CP PHOTO/Richard Lam) CANADA
Mechanical failure leaves nearly 200 passengers stranded on BC Ferries ship for hours

A tug arrived after dark to safely nudge the vessel into a berth so travellers could finally disembark

Ridge Meadows RCMP (Black Press)
Maple Ridge X-ray tech convicted of sexual assault dating back 30 years

Allen James Brooks is expected to be sentenced in January 2021

Most Read