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Indigenous woman from Coquitlam found dead in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside

Kwemcexenalqs (Kwem) Manuel-Gottfriedson was last seen in the Tri-Cities on July 27. Her body was discovered three days later, and not far from where a Port Coquitlam teen's body was recently found.

A Coquitlam woman was found dead in Vancouver over the B.C. Day long weekend — and it was not far from the place where a Port Coquitlam teen's body was recently discovered.

In a statement to the Tri-City News, the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) confirms Coquitlam resident Kwemcexenalqs (Kwem) Manuel-Gottfriedson was found dead inside a building near the intersection of East Hastings Street and Hawks Avenue on Saturday (July 30).

That was three days after her last known sighting, according to family and friends of the 24-year-old Indigenous woman who made public pleas for her safety on social media.

She was last seen the night of July 27 in Coquitlam, and, according to missing person posters, her phone was pinged to the Astoria Hotel in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.

VPD spokesperson Const. Tania Visintin said the BC Coroners Service is looking into the cause of death, while VPD's major crimes section is investigating the circumstances that led to Manuel-Gottfriedson's disappearance.

"We are in contact with Kwem’s family and have been providing them investigative updates," added Visintin.

No other information has been released at this time.

One block away

The site Manuel-Gottfriedson was found is near the building where Noelle "Elli" O'soup was discovered nearly a year after they were reported missing to police.

The body of the 14-year-old, also of Indigenous heritage, was found May 1 in an apartment at 405 Heatley Ave., which is one block west of East Hastings Street and Hawks Avenue.

The BC Coroners Service identified O'soup and police notified family on June 22 before releasing their findings to the public.

The remains of two other people whose remains were found in the unit, including one on the same day as O'soup and another last February.

Since then, there have been no public updates about O'soup's case as the investigation is ongoing.

The Indigenous teen was last seen the night of May 12, 2021, after leaving a Port Coquitlam home "without permission."

A community vigil was held in O'soup's memory on June 28.

"Noelle’s death will generate many questions in the community, and we are committed to finding answers," said VPD spokesperson Sgt. Steve Addison in an earlier release.

"If, during the course of this investigation, we determine there is a risk to public safety, we will immediately notify the public."

The VPD is leading the investigation into the circumstances surrounding O'soup's death, alongside the BC Coroners Service and Coquitlam RCMP.

Anyone with more information on the deaths of Manuel-Gottfriedson or O'soup is asked to call VPD's major crime section at 604-717-2500.

KwemcexenalqsKwenManuelGottfriedsonCoquitlamJuly2022poster
Coquitlam resident Kwemcexenalqs (Kwem) Manuel-Gottfriedson was found dead inside a building in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside on July 30, 2022, just days after she was reported missing online (July 27). By @kelsiemarchand/Twitter

 

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