It has been over a week since Austyn Godfrey was found dead at a Kelowna dog park and RCMP has been tight-lipped ever since.
The investigation into her suspicious death is ongoing and an autopsy has been completed. RCMP would not comment on the results of the autopsy but did state no arrests have been made.
On Jan. 25, a makeshift memorial could be seen placed against a tree at the dog park off 2100-block of Glenmore Road, as her grief-ridden friends and family try to cope with the 25-year-old’s death.
One of the last people to see Godfrey alive was her friend Ashley Henry. She said that the two were safe and happy, having a movie night until 2 a.m. at which time Godfrey left. The victim was found dead approximately six hours later at the Glenmore dog park.
Prior to her death, Godfrey posted on social media, warning her followers that she might be targeted by a man. Henry does not personally know the man pictured in Godfrey’s posts but said that he was allegedly “extremely abusive to her and she had been trying to leave him for a long time.”
“The Kelowna RCMP serious crime unit has received several tips that have been fruitful for the investigation,” said Cpl. Tammy Lobb. “The serious crime unit is conducting a thorough investigation into the death of Austyn Godfrey and this includes gathering as much evidence as possible.”
Godfrey’s death is still being investigated as a suspicious death, not a murder, says Cpl. Lobb.
Unfortunately, Godfrey is not the only death in Kelowna left unresolved. This month marks six years since Tura Stephen McCarty, was found dead in a vehicle. McCarty was discovered on Jan. 6, 2016, on Bear Creek Road. RCMP considers the death a homicide.
“The RCMP strongly believes that this was not a random attack, and recognizes how crimes of this nature are disturbing to the members of the community,” said Superintendent Nick Romanchuk, officer in charge of the Kelowna Regional Detachment at the time.
The Southeast District RCMP investigative team has confirmed the investigation remains a priority and is continuing but there is nothing new to provide by way of an update.
If anyone has information and has not already provided this to police, you are asked to contact the Southeast District Major Crime tipline at 1-877-987-8477.
It’s been nearly nine years since Tiffany Goruk and Jeremy Snow were murdered and the case has gone stale. On Feb. 18, 2013, the two were shot inside an SUV that then crashed into a West Kelowna apartment building. When officers arrived at the scene they determined that the gunshots caused their death, not the crash. There have been no new discoveries disclosed by RCMP.
Marcello Quinn Verna and Kimberly Janet Ansell, are another couple that faced a similar fate. The two died of gunshot wounds to the head and although considered a murder/suicide by the West Kelowna RCMP, the case is not closed.
Ansell and Verna were discovered lying next to each other on a path in a wooded area off Shannon Way in West Kelowna in March 2016. Both had been shot in the head, and a handgun was discovered next to the body of Verna.
After an autopsy, the coroner found that Ansell was shot in the head seconds before Verna died. But it was not clear if Ansell shot herself or if Verna did.
Verna was determined to have shot himself in the head. He had also been experiencing personal stressors in the preceding months, according to the coroner’s report. While Verna’s death was ruled a suicide, the coroner found insufficient evidence to determine if Ansell shot herself or if Verna shot her before killing himself.
The investigation remains open, it is not an active investigation and there are no updates.
The unsolved deaths in Kelowna are not considered random, say Kelowna RCMP.
Kelowna RCMP asks anyone who had direct contact with Austyn Godfrey in the days and hours leading up to 8:30 a.m. on Jan.16 to call the tipline at 250-470-6236.
To remain completely anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or leave a tip online at crimestoppers.net.