RCMP seek driver who picked up hitchhikers near site where 3 people found dead

Bodies still not identified

Vancouver Island’s major crime unit is still trying to locate the driver of a light-coloured sedan who picked up two hitchhikers near the scene of a triple homicide in rural Qualicum Beach on the morning of Nov. 1.

Later that day, three bodies were found at the end of Melrose Forest Service Road near Whiskey Creek. Two of the bodies were found in a charred trailer. The third was nearby. One man, found in a second trailer, was airlifted to hospital in critical condition with gunshot wounds. The remains of four dogs were also recovered.

Const. Chris Manseau said the RCMP continues to work with the B.C. Coroners Service to definitively confirm the identification of the deceased.

Sources have told the Times Colonist that one of the victims is believed to be Shawn McGrath, a 52-year-old with an extensive criminal history. His girlfriend, Shandra Wilson, had been living with him in the trailer.

Neither RCMP nor the B.C. Coroners Service has confirmed the identities of the dead. Police have said forensic identification must take place, since two of the victims were found in the charred trailer.

“Fire scenes bring a variety of challenges and are complex scenes to process. Investigators must pore over the scene, meticulously search through debris piece by piece and then examine collected items using specialized techniques,” Manseau said.

Investigators believe that two people, “persons of interest,” flagged down a car and got a ride away from the gravel pit on Highway 19 near Whiskey Creek where the bodies were found. They believe the driver may have information crucial to their investigation. Despite a public appeal three weeks ago, investigators have been unable to find the driver.

Police have not given an update on the status of the man taken to hospital with gunshot wounds.

The area where the bodies were found is popular with quad bikers, dirt bike riders and 4x4 riders, so investigators are asking anyone who was in the area on Oct. 31 or Nov. 1 to share any video footage they have. Police are hoping it could help their investigation.

Anyone with information is asked to call the VIIMCU information line at 250-380-6211.

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