‘Gut-wrenching’: Coroner’s report reveals B.C. mother of 2 fatally stabbed, found in shallow grave

Click to play video: '67-year-old man charged in connection to 2017 homicide of Abbotsford’s Chelsey Gauthier'
67-year-old man charged in connection to 2017 homicide of Abbotsford’s Chelsey Gauthier
Homicide investigators announced 67-year-old Gary Losch has been charged with second-degree murder and indignity to human remains in connection to the homicide of 22-year-old Chelsey Gauthier of Abbotsford, B.C – Sep 10, 2022

Abbotsford mother Chelsey Lea Gauthier was stabbed to death in 2017 and found in a shallow grave in an isolated wooded area of Mission, B.C., according to the findings in a coroner’s report released Wednesday.

The Oct. 11, 2022 report from coroner Lori Moen said an autopsy determined Chelsey died from a stab wound to the torso, and classified her death as a homicide.

Read more: 67-year-old man charged in connection to 2017 homicide of Abbotsford, B.C.’s Chelsey Gauthier

“It’s gut-wrenching,” said Chelsey’s father Ray Gauthier, who raised Chelsey as a single dad and was notified of the coroner’s findings late last year.

“It’s very hard to deal with this right now,” he told Global News in an interview.

Click to play video: 'Remembering Chelsey Gauthier'
Remembering Chelsey Gauthier

The report said the 22-year-old, who was a mother to two young girls, was last known to be alive in the evening hours of July 27, 2017 near the area where her body was eventually recovered.

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Abbotsford police searched for Chelsey after she was reported missing on July 30, 2017, and the investigation led them to a remote area of Mission near Sylvester Road, where her body was discovered on Aug. 16.

Read more: ‘No more femicides’: B.C. women’s groups call for action on deadly domestic violence

Chelsey’s death was reported to the BC Coroners Service, and the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) took conduct of the case, working to identify her killer over the next five years.

Police arrested a suspect, Gary Donald Losch, on Sept. 9, 2022.

Losch, 67, was charged the next day with second-degree murder and interference with a dead body or indignity to human remains.

At a Sept. 10, 2022 press conference, Sgt. Timothy Pierotti of IHIT, said Losch had hired Chelsey to work for him at a cannabis grow-op in the area her body was found.

Ray Gauthier, who said he’s trying to pull through, described his daughter as a wonderful, compassionate girl who loved animals.

Read more: ‘She said I love you’: father of murdered 22-year-old mom recounts last words to him

He said he said he felt very defeated for a while, but that he appreciates the work police and RCMP investigators did to get charges approved.

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Losch remains in custody and his next court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 20 in Abbotsford.

“I’m just very happy and excited this man spent Christmas behind bars where he should have been,” said Ray Gauthier.

With files from Darrian Matassa-Fung.

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