A young woman was found dead at a Kelowna park one year ago today, and her family and friends are desperate for information that could help them find closure.
The body of 25-year-old Austyn Godfrey was discovered at the Glenmore dog park on Jan. 16, 2022. The Kelowna RCMP have confirmed that there are still no updates in the investigation into her “suspicious death.”
The incident has not been deemed a murder because the evidence at the scene where her body was discovered did not conclusively indicate that another human was involved, said Const. Mike Della-Paolera of the Kelowna RCMP.
The steps of the investigation need to be followed in a slow and methodical manner, said Della-Paolera. The pace is agonizing for Godfrey’s family and friends who say that they are aching for answers.
A relative of the family, K.C., who has asked to remain anonymous, told Capital News that Michelle, Godfrey’s mother, “has been begging for answers and it keeps falling on deaf ears.”
Della-Paolera said the family will only receive new updates when it does not jeopardize the investigation or is deemed appropriate to release to the public.
“Unfortunately, sometimes answers do not come easy during these kind of investigations.”
K.C. said Godfrey was likely using illicit substances, but wasn’t sure which ones specifically.
Days before Godfrey was found dead, she had posted on her social media accounts, warning her friends that a man she previously had a relationship with may be planning to harm her.
Ashley Henry, one of Godfrey’s friends, spoke to Capital News shortly after Godfrey’s death.
Henry said that the man Godfrey had named in the posts was “extremely abusive to her and [Austyn] had been trying to leave him for a long time.”
The RCMP said that they are unable to comment about the posts but are aware of them.
Lilyanna Arient, a friend of Godfrey’s who wrote a statement for Capital News describing the pain she has endured since her friend’s death, said “Austyn moved from her old life (in Kingston, Ontario) trying to figure out herself and got caught in something she never deserved.”
Arient described Godfrey as being able to light up every room she walked into. She said that Godfrey was always working to better herself.
Arient remembered how Godfrey’s last days were spent peacefully practicing self-care with face masks and oatmeal flower baths. “If only we knew those moments were so important.”
One of Godfrey’s closest friends in Kelowna, Kassidy Jarvis, also wrote a statement for Capital News. She said that Godfrey was like a sister to her.
“Austyn was that person that anyone could look to in a time of need for a shoulder to cry on or someone to talk to. She was always looking out for me and made sure I was okay,” Jarvis said.
“The day we met we automatically clicked, instantly I knew that we would be best friends.”
Godfrey is remembered as a woman with a heart of gold, a contagious laugh and a bright smile, said Jarvis.
“She was courageous, strong, stubborn, but most of all a beautiful young woman that was taken way too soon.”
Anyone who may have had any contact with Godfrey in the days and hours leading up to 8:30 a.m. on Sunday Jan. 16, 2022 is asked to call the tip line at 250-470-6236.
To remain completely anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or leave a tip online at crimestoppers.net.