Body of deceased traveller recovered, identity of third person confirmed

Search and Rescue in NWT.
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Yellowknife RCMP have recovered the deceased person from a large area of open water on Great Slave Lake as well as identified the third member of the group. The recovered body belonged to Samuel Boucher, a 65-year-old man from Lutsel’ke.

Samuel Boucher, Cammy Boucher, 23 and a third person who is believed to be Jake Gully, 28, of Fort Good Hope are believed to have departed Dettah approximately 10:30 pm Monday, May 13th. They were believed to be headed to Lutsel’ke. RCMP began a search and rescue operation with Civil Air Search and Rescue Association on May 14th, heading out in a fixed wing aircraft. Due to treacherous and deteriorating ice conditions, the search was restricted to air resources.

During a patrol on May 17th, RCMP observed a deceased person in the open water near the debris. Unable to land on the ice near the location, RCMP collected evidence through aerial photographs to confirm a deceased person was in the water, and for possible identification. They announced the observation of a deceased person in a large area of open water late on May 18, after families had been notified.

On Monday, May 20th three RCMP officers and one Department of Fisheries and Oceans personnel were able to land and retrieve the deceased person from the water, along with some of the debris. The helicopter performed a surveillance patrol, for a possible sighting of the remaining missing two persons. There were no sightings of the two persons, and no further debris noted.

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Evidence collected in the investigation have led RCMP to believe the two missing persons may have suffered the same fate as Samuel Boucher. RCMP will continue to survey the area around Ethen Island for any sign of the missing persons.

The NWT Coroner Service took possession of the deceased person that afternoon. During the evening of May 20th, NWT Coroner Service confirmed the identification of the deceased as Samuel Boucher. The police stayed in constant communication with the families of the missing persons, including the plans for recovery of the deceased and the identification of Samuel Boucher.

Inspector Alex Laporte, Yellowknife Detachment Commander states that the RCMP remains in contact with the missing person’s families.

“We are so very sorry for their loss, and for those families still awaiting word on their loved ones. We will continue to surveil the area on a regular basis and will make every effort to reunite them with their loved ones.”

RCMP will continue the missing person’s investigation and encourage anyone with any information on their whereabouts in the days leading up to May 13th, to contact your local detachment.

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