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TUESDAY MARCH 13, 2012
Proudly serving Williams Lake and the Cariboo-Chilcotin since 1930
Constable charged with assault
VOL. 82. No. 21
$1.34 inc. HST
Hearth gets a new mural
Crown Counsel has approved the charge of assault against Const. Andy Yung of the Williams Lake RCMP. The charge follows a recommendation by the Abbotsford Police Department, which investigated assault allegations stemming from an incident where a 17-yearold girl sustained injuries while in custody of the Williams Lake RCMP on Sept. 10, 2011. Yung will appear in court in Williams Lake at a date yet to be determined. Gaeil Farrar photo
The Cariboo Friendship Centre’s Choices for Youth group SWAG, Strength Within All Generations, is creating two new murals on the Friendship Centre walls. This one is being painted in the Hearth Restaurant by Tasheena David (left), Juanita Keener, Felicity Tuck, Lane William and Fallon William who will also be among local youth attending a national youth conference in Nanaimo on March 19.
Inside the Tribune NEWS Female assaulted.
SPORTS A8 Wrestlers return from provincials. COMMUNITY Locals win at science fair.
Weather outlook: Mainly cloudy today, high of 3 C. Mix of sun/cloud Wednesday, high of 3 C.
Decade-old human remains identified Monica Lamb-Yorski Tribune Staff Writer The B.C. Coroners Service has confirmed the identity of the human remains found in the Esler area near Williams Lake in August. The remains belong to Dennis Russell Meleta, said the BC Coroners Service today (Friday). Meleta was about 36 years old at the time of his death, which is believed to be about 10 years prior to discovery. On Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2011 a mountain biker found the human remains about two kilometres north of the Esler area, while exploring the possibility of building trails. “That’s often how people are found. This is one of those cases where someone went off the beaten track and discovered a body,” says coroner Stephen Fonseca of the BC Coroners Service. Following an RCMP examination of the scene, police said the “severely decomposed human remains” were found in a heavily wooded area, and that it was possible the deceased may have been at the location for a number of years.
The investigation was then taken on by the BC Coroners Service to investigate the identity of the remains. The B.C. Coroners Service says confirming the man’s identity follows an exhaustive post-mortem investigation and with assistance from the Williams Lake RCMP Detachment, Vancouver Police Department Forensic Identification Section, the B.C. Police Missing Persons Centre and the Ontario Provincial Police Missing Persons/ Unidentified Bodies Unit. Identification was determined through advanced fingerprint techniques. Thorough scene investigation and a post-mortem examination ruled out foul play in Meleta’s death. “He’d been in British Columbia for quite a few years, but we lose track of him coming into around the year 2000, so we’re not sure how long he was in Williams Lake for. That’s what we’re trying to understand,” says Fonseca. Meleta’s family has been notified of the confirmed identification, but to further a humanitarian
effort, investigators wish to learn more about Meleta’s activities preceding his death and how people may have known him. “Hopefully that will allow us to get a better interval on how long he’s likely been deceased for. We have some initial ideas, but hopefully someone will come forward
and provide some verifiable evidence that they were with him on a particular day or even in a particular year,” Fonseca points out, adding it would be good to learn why Meleta was in Williams Lake. See CASE Page A2
Inquest into man’s death An inquest into the death of Williams Lake resident Blaine Conrad Sargent will be held, says the BC Coroners Service. Sargent, 19, died at the University Hospital of Northern British Columbia on Sept. 21, 2011. He had been taken to the hospital after going into medical distress at the Prince George Regional Correctional Centre a short time after returning from a court appearance in Williams Lake. “Presiding coroner Donita Kuzma and a jury will hear evidence from subpoenaed witnesses to determine the facts surrounding this death. While the jury may not, by law, make any findings of legal respon-
sibility, it will have the opportunity to make recommendations aimed at preventing deaths under similar circumstances in the future,” says the BC Coroners Service. While the date and place of the inquest has yet to be determined, the coroners office points out that an inquest is a formal process that allows for public presentation of evidence relating to a death. In September, regional coroner Shane DeMeyer said that the death was being treated as an “in custody death,” meaning there were protocols that must be followed, which included an autopsy performed in Kamloops, as well as toxicology testing.