Body found in burned-out cabin on northern Vancouver Island

RCMP are investigating after a body was found in a cabin destroyed by fire in a remote area of northern Vancouver Island.

The body was discovered by Port Hardy RCMP on Tuesday, after a caretaker found the cabin had been destroyed by fire. The cabin is about 30 kilometres from Winter Harbour on the Island’s west coast.

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The B.C. Coroners Service and members of the Campbell River RCMP Forensic Identification Section are assisting with the investigation.

Because of the remote location of this cabin, it’s believed that the owner of an SUV vehicle found parked nearby is the deceased, said Staff Sergeant Andy Phillips, commander of the Port Hardy detachment.

Phillips said preliminary findings “have not indicated anything suspicious” about the death but did not elaborate on how the person died. He said an autopsy will be done and could provide details on the cause and time of death.

Port Hardy RCMP have not said why it took three days to release information about the death.

The age and gender of the person has not been released by police.

RCMP do not know when the fire broke out or how it started, said B.C. RCMP spokesman Cpl. Chris Manseau. Manseau said the cabin is often used by hikers in the area.

Port Hardy RCMP are asking anyone who was in the area of Hecht Beach between Jan. 10 and Jan. 19 to contact the police if they have any information about the cabin fire or saw anyone in the area.

Investigators are also concerned about social media posts that have incorrectly said the remains are non-human. The RCMP is asking anyone who posted photos of the cabin to remove them.

kderosa@timescolonist.com

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