A 60-year-old West Kelowna man, Kevin Lee Barrett, has been charged with attempted murder after a 79-year-old woman was found in the back country on Monday evening, suffering from what police describe as serious injuries.
Police said the West Kelowna senior was badly beaten, but continues to recover from her injuries and remains in “very good spirits.”
RCMP are not revealing where or when the woman was assaulted, or how long she had been in the back country before she was found.
However, what investigators have said is that they think the woman was driven from her home — in West Kelowna’s Westview Village Mobile Home Park — into the back country in an Nissan X-Trail she owns.
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Police said they believe early Monday evening, the suspect and victim encountered a witness “while still inside the victim’s Westview Village Mobile Home complex” who police are still hoping to talk to as their investigation continues.
“That individual has some very important information that we’d like to get from them so we would greatly appreciate if they’d come forward and speak with our investigators,” said Kelowna RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey.
“All we know at this point is that an interaction had taken place with this citizen. They would have seen our victim, likely in a state where she had been injured already, but during an exchange with the suspect he reassured this person that he was taking her for care at the hospital. And, of course, that wasn’t the case.”
RCMP are praising the actions of the pair who found the woman “in obvious medical distress” in the remote location, then called emergency officials before taking the senior “off the mountain side to meet with paramedics and police officers,” on Monday evening.
“Had this man and woman not found her, it is likely that she could have succumbed to her injuries and perhaps even died in the back country. And so it is a good thing they came across her and that they did what they did,” O’Donaghey said.
Police will not confirm the nature of the relationship between the accused and the victim, nor if they are related.
RCMP will only say the two are “very well know to each other” and the incident was an “isolated event.”