Search for missing couple ends with discovery of two bodies in car off highway

A dog walker’s chance discovery of a vehicle hidden in dense foliage off the Patricia Bay Highway brings an end to the search for two missing people.

Sidney/North Saanich RCMP believes the two bodies in the car are those of Sidney residents Easha Rayel, 36, and James Evans, 23.

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Rayel and Evans were last seen on Aug. 9. On Aug. 12, RCMP said the two had been “out of contact for a duration of time that is concerning and out of character.” They were believed to be travelling in a blue BMW 325Ci.

Const. Meighan de Pass, media relations officer for Sidney/North Saanich RCMP, said the identities of the people in the car will be confirmed by post-mortem testing, but officers are no longer seeking information about the missing pair, and their families have been notified.

A dog walker spotted the blue BMW in a steep ditch about noon on Saturday, de Pass said. The car was off the side of the northbound lanes of the Patricia Bay Highway near Parkland Secondary School, and obscured by overgrown foliage.

“I just happened to look over and saw the glint of a vehicle where no vehicle should be … so I walked in, had a look and discovered two bodies in a car that was torn up,” Rick Davis told CHEK News.

It’s unclear how long the car was there before it was found.

“Any kind of time length is touching into a forensic estimation, and that will still be in the purview of the B.C. Coroners Service investigation,” de Pass said.

The highway was blocked for about an hour and a half Saturday evening as police moved the vehicle.

There is no evidence of criminal behaviour in the incident, according to RCMP.

Evans’ twin brother, Zach, has started a fundraising page to rent a venue for everyone who knew Evan to celebrate his life.

regan-elliott@timescolonist.com

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