Hedley investigation continues

The small town of Hedley is still in a state of shock after the homicide of one of their own.

Last Wednesday, RCMP were called to a residence on Richter Road at approximately                 8 p.m., where they found the body of 55 year-old Douglas Smith.

“It is almost a bit unreal still for most people. This has always been the kind of place where people look after one another, so it doesn’t feel real,” said Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen director for the area, Angelique Wood.

Some in the community, perched just 29 kilometres west of Keremeos, believe Smith suffered a deadly gunshot wound. RCMP have yet to confirm the details surround his death. Wood said many residents in the close-knit town of about 250 people suspect it was someone who knew Smith.

“His very loyal dog was not in the trailer with him … That is one of the reasons friends went looking for him because his dog Rascal, a blue-heeler, was running around town,” said Wood.

Smith was expected at a engagement that evening with a friend and when he didn’t show up the friend went looking at Smith’s trailer to see what was happening. Wood said when he got there the trailer was locked so the friend got another man to help him get in and that was when they found Smith’s body.

“Doug liked to live life and I think that is the thing pretty much everyone is wondering about because he would befriend pretty much anyone. He didn’t have a bone of judgement in his body. It is just questionable about who might have taken advantage of that,” said Wood.

The area director said she recalls the first time she met Smith was when he warmly welcomed her into town with a bunch of breakfast trout. She said the truck driver, who recently underwent surgery to repair crushed discs in his back, has lived in the community for over 20 years and has two children who are now in their 30s.

According to Wood, Smith was an important part of the community. His uncle once owned a mill in Hedley and Smith became involved with the community club when land from the mill was donated to create a ballpark.

Wood recalls Smith as always having an upbeat attitude and years ago would take kids fishing up Nickel Plate Lake to share his fondness of the outdoors. She said his death may also be so surreal because she cannot recall Hedley ever having a homicide, or even a historical murder going back to the gold rush days.

“Until there has been a chance to have a funeral and really say goodbye properly, it is going to be on everyone’s minds, or at least until the police have someone actually under lock and key,” said Wood.

Now one week after he was found dead, RCMP presence around Smith’s residence has dissipated.

“The Major Crime Unit continue to investigate and are looking for any witnesses who can provide police with information about this tragic incident,” said Const. Lesley Smith, North District media relations officer.

Anyone with information regarding the death of Smith is asked to contact the Princeton RCMP at 250-295-6911. If you would like to remain anonymous call CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

 

Just Posted

RCMP thanked the public for assistance in finding Benjamin Archie, last seen in Princeton. (RCMP)
Missing Chilliwack man found safe and sound

The 80-year-old had walked away from his home in Chilliwack

.
Princeton’s Spotlight wins two provincial awards for excellence

Publisher takes first place for investigative reporting

Princeton GSAR responds 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In 2020 the crew was called out 34 times, and members spent 721 hours on calls, and 683 hours training. Photo Princeton GSAR Facebook
Teen missing in Manning Park found after 24 hours

Young man spends night on mountain and survives with just a few scrapes

The COVID-19 cases reported over the week of May 30 to June 5. (BC CDC)
South Okanagan sees second straight week of 17 new COVID-19 cases

Summerland, Keremeos and Princeton all recorded no new cases

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen has hired a new FireSmart coordinator. (Black Press file photo)
FireSmart coordinator named for Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen

Kerry Riess will provide assistance to mitigate potential wildfire hazards

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

18-year-old skier Logan Leach follows his guide, Julien Petit, down an alpine track. The Lumby athlete who is visually impaired has been named to Alpine Canada’s Ski Team ahead of the 2022 Paralympic Games in Beijing. (Contributed)
North Okanagan teen named to national Para-Alpine ski team

18-year-old Logan Leach officially joins Canada’s Para-Alpine roster ahead of Beijing 2022

Carina Stokes, bar manager at Enderby’s Small Axe Bistro, was recognized as one of four exceptional B.C. restaurant workers by the British Columbia Restaurant and Foodservices Association Tuesday, June 8, 2021. (Contributed)
Okanagan bar manager recognized as ‘stand-up’ B.C. restaurant worker

Small Axe Roadhouse’s Carina Stokes one of four to receive special recognition from the BCRFA

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Police cars are seen parked outside Vancouver Police Department headquarters on Saturday, January 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver police officer charged with assault during an arrest in 2019

The service has released no other details about the allegations

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen receives medical attention after collapsing during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Christian Eriksen in stable condition, Euro 2020 match resumes

Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship

Most Read