Twenty-three years ago a grisly discovery was made at Allison Lake Provincial Park.
Newborn infant twin girls were found, murdered, their bodies wrapped in a black garbage bag and hidden in the pit of an outhouse about 30 km from Princeton.
They, nor their parents, were ever identified. As an unsolved homicide the investigation remains open.
Thursday the RCMP resurrected the cold case, and made a public plea for information.
“An autopsy determined that the infants were breathing when born, and both would have survived if proper care had been provided following the birth, “ said RCMP Corporal Dan Maskaluk.
The babies, weighing about six pounds, each were still attached to umbilical cords and placentas. An autospy revealed they were alive and healthy.
A man looking for a lost knife made the gruesome find, Sunday October 9 around 8 p.m.
That week’s edition of The Similkameen Spotlight had few details about the deaths but police wanted to find the mother, as they were concerned about her wellbeing.
Twenty three years later Maskaluk reflected, with the deaths being established as homicides, “it’s never been fully determined if the mother was a victim herself or if she was involved.”
Initial news reports indicated police were looking for two individuals – one described as heavily pregnant, 18-20 years old, 5’ 3” tall, and blond. A man in her company was described as a 20-year-old Caucasian with blond hair and a slim build.
That couple had been seen at Aspen Grove five days before the bodies were discovered, driving a white car with round taillights, that had boxes covered by a blue tarp in the backseat.
The police investigation extended across British Columbia, but an exhaustive review of medical records turned up no twin pregnancy that could have accounted for the babies.
That led RCMP to suspect the mother had not received medical attention or came from another province or country.
Since 1994, investigators have re-submitted exhibits to the lab, as new technologies and procedures have been developed. Several tips from the public have been received over the years and have been followed-up on, including interviews and obtaining DNA samples, said Maskaluk.
“The deaths of the pair remains unsolved with many questions left unanswered. The death of the girls sent shockwaves through the town on the one hand, however the crime also created a collective effort to redress the wrong that had been done,” said Maskaluk.
Members of the Princeton community took care over the tiny victims, naming them The Princeton Angels, and fundraising so they would have a proper burial and gravestone.
About fifty people attended their funeral at the Princeton cemetery on November 24, 1994.
A local funeral home donated two tiny coffins, and members of the RCMP acted as pallbearers.
Rosemary Doughty, a local volunteer and Princeton town councillor, said the memory of the crime and the babies lingers here today.
“I visit their graves every year,” she said, adding she purchased and placed a stone cherub to watch over the gravesite.
“I was so deeply disturbed at the story, that that would happen to two little girls, just at the time of their birth, being murdered in such a horrendous way,” she said.
Maskaluk is hopeful someone will come forward with new information.
“It’s not uncommon for us to look at these type of files and get them back into the public eye. As time goes by individuals are in different circumstances that previously may have prevented or precluded them from coming forward.”
Anyone with information for police can contact Princeton RCMP at to contact the Princeton RCMP at 250-295-6511, their local police services or via Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477.