Statement by Insp. Stephen Cocks on Pamela Napoleon
Fort St John
2017-10-30 10:15 PDT
- Thank you all for coming here today.
- My name is Inspector Stephen Cocks, head of the Special Projects Unit for the BC RCMP’s Major Crimes Unit.
- I’d like to start by acknowledging Vanessa, the sister of Pamela Napoleon. Thank you so much for joining us and providing some comments and thoughts on behalf of your family.
- We’re here today, to announce charges in relation to Pamela’s death.
- Pamela was a Blueberry First Nations woman aged 42 at the time of her death, which occurred in the summer of 2014.
- Pamela was last seen on July 8, 2014, leaving Blueberry First Nation. Her family reported her missing on July 23, 2014 to the Fort St. John RCMP because it was very unusual for her not be connect with them for such a long time.
- Fort St. John police launched a missing person’s investigation at that time.
- But, unfortunately, Pamela’s remains were recovered on August 4, 2014 in a burned cabin about 30 kilometres north of Buick.
- The Fort St. John RCMP then launched a comprehensive investigation into Pamela’s suspicious death.
- Their investigation expanded in 2015, when the detachment decided to engage the Special Projects Unit within BC RCMP’s Major Crimes Unit.
- That’s the unit I’m in charge of, and essentially our job was to assist the detachment with some enhanced expertise in certain investigative techniques.
- Here in BC, our Special Project Unit has dedicated investigative units that can either assist or take on ownership of individual or multiple murder investigations.
- Because we need to respect the court process, I won’t be able to go into detail on what investigative steps were taken or the evidence obtained. However, I can confirm that significant police resources were deployed to gather evidence sufficient to support criminal charges.
- While there may have speculation and rumors around what happened to Pamela, our role is to obtain the facts and evidence that proves the offence.
- We were able to secure charges due the extensive work done by the Fort St. John RCMP. They remained engaged with their community. They listened. Our efforts focussed on take the information and confirming the evidence.
- At this point, I want to thank Pamela’s family and loved ones, and the Blueberry First Nations’ community, for their patience as we pursued our investigations.
- We know homicide investigations can be extremely difficult for the victim’s family and loved ones. They are suffering a huge loss, and the investigative process can be lengthy.
- Our goal was to honour Pamela’s memory, which for us meant taking the time to ensure the evidence gathered would meet the standards demanded by the courts.
- Leon Wokeley, aged 42, of Blueberry First Nation, was arrested without incident in Fort St. John on Friday, October 27.
- He is facing charges of:
- 2nd degree murder
- Arson; and,
- indignity to human remains, for his role in the homicide of Pamela Napoleon.
- Leon Wokeley has been remanded in custody and will be appearing on Wednesday in Fort St. John Provincial Court.
- I can confirm that the investigation determined this was an isolated incident, in which the two individual knew each other because they resided in the same community and this was not a domestic related crime.
- I can also confirm that our investigation has also not determined any other information that would see additional charges being laid in connection with any other missing or homicide investigations.
- While charges has been laid, our work is not over. We will now be preparing for the upcoming court process.
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