RCMP confirm death of Jessica Patrick

No details on cause were given. Case is under criminal investigation and police are asking for tips.

Jessica Patrick (Balczer)

Smithers RCMP have confirmed the body found on Hudson Bay Mountain Sept. 15 was Jessica Patrick’s (Balczer).

The press release sent out six days later on the afternoon of Sept. 21 did not give a cause of death, stating the RCMP was still working with the BC Coroner Service to determine that. The case is under criminal investigation.

Jessica’s body was released to the family Sept. 20. A memorial open to the public is being held Sept. 22

Read more: Jessica comes home

Family members confirmed Jessica was found at a vigil held in her honour at Bovill Square in Smithers on Sept. 16.

Read more: Vigil for Jessica Patrick

Jessica was reported missing Sept. 3 and an RCMP press release was sent out Sept. 6. She was reported as having left the Mountain View Motel in Smithers in the early morning hours of Aug. 31.

Read more: Smithers resident reported missing

The following is the full press release sent out Friday, Sept. 21:

Earlier this month the Smithers RCMP issued a media release seeking the public’s help to locate, 18 year old, Jessica Balczer.

Original media release relating to the missing person:

http://smithers.bc.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/ViewPage.action?iteNodeId=2130&languageId=1&contentId=56580

Jessica was a member of the Lake Babine Nation. Many people, including friends and family, have come forward and provided information to help the RCMP with the investigation. Others have come forward knowing it was the right thing to do for Jessica, her family, and the community. Thank-you to all those people who care about Jessica, and want to do the right thing.

When Jessica wasn’t located the North District RCMP sent a progressively expanding team of Major Crime Unit resources, who shortly after, took over responsibility for the investigation. The Smithers RCMP have continued to support the Major Crime Unit. The missing person investigation transitioned to a criminal investigation. The investigative team has obtained numerous court orders in an effort to secure all relevant evidence.

Sadly, on September 15, 2018, Jessica was located no longer alive, just outside Smithers by people who wanted to help find Jessica. The location was on Hudson Bay Mountain Road, at a large pull out, about 15 meters down a steep bank. Those people quickly called the RCMP and protected the scene. Their efforts and actions are commendable.

Original media release relating to the found person:

http://smithers.bc.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/ViewPage.actionsiteNodeId=2130&languageId=1&contentId=56677

On September 19, 2018, with the assistance of the BC Coroner Service, formal confirmation was received that the person found was indeed Jessica. The RCMP with assistance of the BC Coroner Service are working together to determine the cause of Jessica’s death. No other information is available at this time.

The investigative team continues to advance this criminal investigation and wants to extend a sincere thank-you to the family and community members who have supported the investigation to date.

Should you have any information regarding Jessica Balczer’s death, please contact the Smithers RCMP at 250-847-3233.

Should you wish to remain anonymous, please contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

Released by Sgt. Darren Durnin

Operations NCO – Smithers

Smithers RCMP

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The pullout on Hudson Bay Mountain Road where Jessica Patrick’s body was found Sept. 15. (Contributed photo)

The location of Jessica Patrick’s body when it was found. (Google map)

People kept coming to a cold, drizzly Bovill Square in Smithers to remember and pay their respects for Jessica Patrick Sept. 16. About 300 ended up coming to hear from the speakers that included friends, family and leaders of the communities she directly affected. (Chris Gareau photo)

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