Boyfriend of woman found dead near Lumby reports he and her children are safe

Grief stricken but 'safe'

Editor’s note: RCMP originally released the incorrect name of Tatjana Stefanski's ex-husband to the public. The incorrect name has been removed from this story, a corrected name has not been given.

Jason Gaudreault is at a loss for words after learning the woman he loves was found dead near Lumby.

Gaudreault originally took to social media on Saturday after his girlfriend Tatjana Stefanski “unexpectedly left” with her ex-husband. He asked the public to give police room to conduct their investigation and pleaded for any information that would allow for Tatjana’s safe return.

On Monday afternoon, North Okanagan RCMP reported finding a woman’s body while investigating an alleged abduction in the Lumby area on April 14. Police suspect foul play and deemed the woman’s death “suspicious.”

The investigation has now been turned over to the RCMP Southeast District Major Crime Unit.

“At this juncture, investigators believe that this incident is isolated and that no threat to the public exists” said Staff Sgt. Jason Smart.

Police confirm they did arrest a person of interest on Sunday but the man was released one day later with a list of mandatory conditions he must abide by.

On Tuesday morning, Gaudreault shared his appreciation for all the support he is receiving on a community Facebook page called Around the Block Lumby and assured local residents that he and Tatjana’s kids are safe and are now just processing everything. “I personally am overwhelmed with everything that is going on and we are just trying to process our loss. If you all can please respect our time we need.”

RCMP have yet to confirm the identity of the body found Sunday, but both the woman’s daughter and Gaudreault are expressing their grief online. “We prayed so hard and acted so fast for a positive outcome but the events are unfortunate. I have no words to describe what we are feeling but we are in a safe place until justice is served.” Gaudrault pledged his love to Tatjana and promised to keep her children safe.

Police originally stated Stefanski and her ex-husband were last seen driving in Lumby in her ex's 2007 black Audi A6, with a B.C. license plate GK 188L. That vehicle is now in the hands of police and is believed to be part of the continuing investigation.

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