Police announce arrest, charges 5 years after homicide of Abbotsford woman

·2 min read
Chelsey Gauthier's body was found Aug. 16, 2017 outside Mission, B.C. She was last seen on July 27 of that year. (Abbotsford Police Department - image credit)
Chelsey Gauthier's body was found Aug. 16, 2017 outside Mission, B.C. She was last seen on July 27 of that year. (Abbotsford Police Department - image credit)

Homicide investigators announced on Saturday an arrest and charges in the homicide of a 22-year-old mother of two who was found dead outside Mission, B.C., five years ago.

Chelsey Gauthier was reported missing to the Abbotsford Police Department by her family on July 30, 2017.

Her body was discovered near Sylvester Road and Dale Road northeast of Mission, about 70 kilometres east of Vancouver, on Aug. 16, 2017.

On Saturday, officers with the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) said Gary Losch, who was 62 years old at the time of Gauthier's death, had been arrested and the B.C. Prosecution Service had approved charges of second-degree murder and interference with a dead body.

"[The] arrest and charges are a testament to the dedication of the investigating team and their partnership with AbbyPD, who worked for five years investigating this case," said Sgt. Timothy Pierotti with IHIT.

'A whole ton of emotions hitting me'

Losch remains in custody, with his next court date in Abbotsford scheduled for Friday.

On Saturday, investigators said Losch had been identified as a suspect in the death early in the investigation. They said Losch had offered to pay Gauthier to help with his illegal outdoor marijuana growing operation.

Gauthier's father, Ray Gauthier, said his daughter had not been employed by Losch, but had agreed to clip plants in exchange for one.

IHIT
IHIT

Ray Gauthier said when police contacted him to say an arrest had been made, he was shocked.

"Just a whole ton of emotions hitting me, but yeah, it was just a nice sense of relief. There is some closure there but I mean, it's just begun now," he said about the case now going before the courts.

He said police did not tell him what changed over the five years for an arrest and charges to be laid. He commended police for sticking with their investigation.

"I tip my hat off to them," he said. "They did an amazing job."