FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — A suspect has been charged in the death of 42 year-old Blueberry First Nation resident Pamela Napoleon that occurred over three years ago.
At a press conference at the Fort St. John RCMP detachment, police announced that on Friday, October 27th, 42 year-old Blueberry First Nation resident Leon Wokeley was arrested in Fort St. John without incident. Wokeley has since been charged with: 2nd degree murder, arson, and indignity to human remains for his role in Napoleon’s alleged murder. The charges have not been proven in court.
Napoleon and Wokeley were both last seen together on July 8, 2014, leaving the Blueberry First Nation. This was the last time that Napoleon was seen alive. She was reported missing to police by her family on July 23, 2014. The Fort St. John RCMP began a missing person’s investigation at that time, but unfortunately her remains were recovered on August 4, 2014 in a burned-out cabin about 30 kilometres north of Buick on the Beatton Airport Road.
The Fort St. John RCMP launched an investigation into Napoleon’s suspicious death and expanded the investigation in 2015, when investigators decided to engage the Special Projects Unit within the BC RCMP’s Major Crimes Unit.
Inspector Stephen Cocks, head of the RCMP’s Special Projects Unit, said that both Napoleon and Wokeley were known to each other through the community, though he was not able to say how long they had known each other. Insp. Cocks added their relationship was not domestic in nature. He also stated that Napoleon was killed prior to her body being burned in the cabin, but would not give a cause of death or any more information about the case.
“We want to thank Pamela’s family and loved ones, and the Blueberry First Nations’ community, for their patience as we pursued our investigations,” said Inspector Cocks. “We know homicide investigations can be extremely difficult for the victim’s family and loved ones. They are suffering a huge loss, and the investigative process can be lengthy. But we wanted to ensure that we honoured Pamela’s memory, which for us meant taking the time to ensure the evidence gathered would meet the standards demanding by the courts.”
Wokeley remains in custody, and will be appearing in Fort St. John Provincial Court on Wednesday November 1st.