It’s been just under two weeks since the RCMP commenced a monster search of a farm property where human remains were found on Salmon River Road near Salmon Arm in the north Okanagan.
Now, new details are emerging about the extensive search that police are carrying out, as family members of five women who went missing in the area say police have asked them to provide DNA samples.
WATCH: RCMP are investigating a second location in connection with Salmon River Road remains found
The search is taking place on a 24-acre property where investigators are spending hours meticulously sifting through dirt, bucket by bucket, and remaining tight-lipped about anything they may have found.
On Tuesday, what looked like a piece of clothing was found on a slope at the back of the property close to a creek.
The property had been on police radar for weeks before human remains were found there.
Sources told Global News that RCMP installed surveillance equipment there — including listening devices, which were placed in the grass about five minutes up the hill from the farm — a week before a search warrant was executed.
RCMP Cpl. Dan Moskaluk claims police did not use listening devices but he’s not denying sources’ claims that surveillance equipment was placed in the grass uphill from the farm. RCMP say they’re unable to comment in investigative techniques taken before a search warrant is secured.
The RCMP have said it’s too soon to link this search to the cases of five women who have gone missing in the area.
Laurie Nixon, the mother of 18-year-old Vernon woman Traci Genereaux, who went missing after last being seen in Vernon’s Red Light District on May 29, told Global News that police last week added a DNA blood sample from her to her daughter’s file.
Nixon said Genereaux was likely buying heroin or selling sexual services so that she could buy drugs.
And she’s holding on to some hope that Genereaux is still out there somewhere.
“Until I have a body I want to hang on to some hope,” she said.
Before police descended on the farm, they issued a warning to sex workers after a woman was allegedly threatened with a firearm in August, after she arranged to meet a man in the area of Salmon River Road.
Curtis Sagmoen, a 37-year-old who lives on the property that’s now being searched by police, is facing six charges for allegedly pulling a gun on a sex trade worker.
Police have not said whether Sagmoen is considered a suspect in connection with the search of the farm.
The RCMP did not offer any new information on Tuesday, and they haven’t revealed whether the remains discovered on the property belonged to one individual or more.
- With files from Doris Maria Bregolisse