RCMP have identified a murder victim who was found at home in Naramata, B.C., on Wednesday as 57 year-old Kathleen Richardson and say they suspect her death is linked to a double homicide which occurred in May.
Penticton police discovered Richardson's body inside a home in the 3900 block of 3 Street in the small community of Naramata as they were investigating the deaths of two brothers, Erick Fryer, 29, and Carlos Fryer, 31.
A couple came across the bodies of the two men from Kamloops in a remote area around Naramata Creek on May 10.
RCMP have said the names of the victims are being released to further their investigation.
Police said in a statement on Friday that "all are likely connected to local drug and gang activities and the additional police resources supporting the investigations will remain in the area."
Investigators say when they went to the home where Richardson's body was found, officers found it unsecured and went inside.
BC RCMP spokesperson Dawn Roberts said police are trying to track her whereabouts before her body was discovered.
"Investigators want to speak to anyone who had dealings with Kathleen in the days before her death. Understanding her movements or activities will help continue to move this investigation forward."
Victim well known in the community
The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen said in a statement that Richardson was a licensed hairstylist who operated her own home-based business for many years and was also a volunteer firefighter since 2017.
District Chair Karla Kozakevich described her as a kind person who would always smile and wave at her when passing through the village.
"Kathy was well known in the community as both a business owner and volunteer," said Kozakevich.
Naramata Fire Chief Dennis Smith said Richardson helped during emergencies including wildfires.
"Kathy brought an exceptional skill set and compassion to people during medical emergencies. She was also deployed provincially as a NVFD team member during recent wildfire events. We will miss her," said Smith.
Police are asking anyone who was driving in the Naramata area on Monday, June 6th through Wednesday June 9th to submit any dash cam video to RCMP.
Anyone with information about any of the three deaths is asked to contact the RCMP Southeast District Major Crime Unit tipline at 1-877-987-8477.