A B.C man has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of a 28-year-old Belgian tourist near Boston Bar on Aug. 22.
Sean McKenzie, 27, of Oliver, was initially arrested at the crime scene where police found Amelie Christelle Sakkalis’ body in a rural area near Hwy. 1 at about 7:45 p.m.
Homicide investigators say McKenzie was then let go after his arrest as police did not have sufficient evidence to detain him. Mckenzie was the owner of a white van found on the scene.
“He was not known to police and he does not have a criminal record,” Cpl. Frank Jang told reporters Monday.
“He travels extensively through the province… for work.”
Jang did not elaborate on what job McKenzie held, nor why Crown was pursuing first-degree murder charges.
CHARGED 1ST DEGREE MURDER: 27-yr-old Sean McKenzie of Oliver, BC has been charged w/ 1st degree murder in 28-yr-old Amelie Sakkalis' death. Amelie was a Belgian national, who was travelling in Canada. Call #IHIT if you saw Amelie w/ Sean McKenzie on August 22, 2018. pic.twitter.com/r0E40yXSf6— IHIT (@HomicideTeam) September 17, 2018
Sakkalis had been travelling through Canada for a couple of weeks before her death.
“Amelie’s family in Belgium has been notified of the developments in her case,” Jang said.
Homicide investigators believe Sakkalis was picked up by McKenzie somewhere between Penticton and where her body was found.
Jang said that police received a call that led them to Sakkalis’ body, but would not elaborate on who had made that call.
Sakkalis had been in Penticton long enough to be reported missing, police said.
“They had just recently met that day,” said Jang.
“If you saw [McKenzie] with Amelie Sakkalis that day, on Aug. 22, that’s important to us. Pick up the phone and call us.”