The RCMP are restricted to how much information they can disclose about a homicide investigation by the North District Major Crime Unit (NDMCU) into the deaths of Blaine Albert Barfoot, 29, and Tara Lee Ann Williams, 40.
“It could mean jeopardizing the entire investigation,” said Sergeant Jason Keays, commander of the Vanderhoof RCMP detachment.
Since the bodies of Barfoot and Williams were discovered in a Vanderhoof home by RCMP on Jan. 13, police dog units have searched nearby areas for clues and the NDMCU has acted on tips, pursued leads and conducted interviews.
Investigators on Jan. 16 asked for the public’s assistance in tracking down an unidentified person who may have suffered injuries to their arms or hands during the homicides, but the RCMP are not elaborating citing the ongoing investigation.
“I think it’s important that people know the majority of the NDMCU is working on this case file,” said Keays.
“A lot of resources are being invested into this.”
During major crime investigations, the RCMP shares information with other police agencies to identify potential links. The NDMCU, composed of an elite team of investigators specially trained in solving murders and kidnappings, also coordinates with municipal RCMP detachments to acquire intelligence from members of the public.
“It’s reassuring to know the public does have faith in us and trusts to call us with their information,” said Keays.
Keays said the double homicide in Vanderhoof was a targeted incident and didn’t pose a danger to the general public.
“Cases like this incident are exceedingly rare,” he said.
“I think it’s really important for people to understand that Vanderhoof, in my opinion, is still a very safe community.”
Homicides have occurred in Vanderhoof before, but each incident is individual and not connected, said Keays.
“I think for anybody to fill in the blanks, or draw their own conclusions, would be irresponsible.”