2013-03-06 16:48 PST
A cross border double mystery has been solved by the BC RCMP and US authorities, with the identification of human remains found in Washington to be those of a Keremeos man who went missing in 2007.
In March of 2012, during the weekly BC and Washington State multi-agency law enforcement meeting, the Osoyoos RCMP was made aware of an unsolved Okanogan County human remains investigation from 2008 whereby a hiker came across skeletal human remains entangled in some riverbank trees along the Okanogan River near Mallot, Washington. A medical examiner could only confirm that the remains were of a male between the age of 20 and 50 years old and that he had undergone a surgical procedure where a medical
Trochanteric Nail and end cap were implanted. Over the course of 2012, investigative efforts were made by the Osoyoos RCMP and the Okanogan County Sherriffs including attempts to determine accurate information regarding the implants. Little information was gained as the lot number records from the manufacturer failed to provide any accurate information about their installation.
One year after the RCMP became aware of this Washington file, an investigator with the BC Police Missing Persons Centre (BCPMPC) was conducting a review of historical missing persons cases in the South Okanagan area. During the process, the investigator conducting the review recalled the case of Mr Goncalves and his similar medical procedure with implants. As a result, Mr Goncalves’ medical records were obtained and forwarded to US investigators and medical examiner.
With this new information, a forensic anthropologist was able to confirm that the remains were those of Miguel Joao Goncalves born in 1961. Mr. Goncalves was reported missing by his family in Keremeos in November of 2007. Foul play is not suspected in his death.
Advancing both these investigations to the point of a successful conclusion for the family involved is indicative of the collaborative efforts that exist between BC RCMP resources and the strong working relationship between the BC RCMP and our US counterparts. It also showcases that files are never closed until solved. stated Cpl Dan Moskaluk.
The Goncalves family has been informed of the discovery and would like to thank all of the agencies who advanced this investigation. They are asking that the media and public respect their privacy at this time.
Media inquiries regarding the Okanogan County Sherriffs' investigation can be directed to Sgt Eric MUDGETT email@example.com or Sheriff Frank ROGERS at 509-422-7200.