Charges have been laid in the 2014 death of a woman in northeastern B.C. The remains of 42 year old Pamela Napoleon were found in a burned down trapper’s cabin north of Buick on August 4, 2014, nearly one month after her disappearance.
Napoleon was last seen on July 8, 2014 leaving Blueberry First Nation, an Aboriginal reserve roughly an hour north of Fort St. John, with the accused 42 year old Leon Wokeley. It was the last time she was seen alive, but RCMP won’t comment on why they left the community together.
Napoleon was reported missing by her family on the 23rd as it was unusual for her to have been out of contact for so long. When her remains were recovered, Fort St. John RCMP said both the fire and her death were being treated as suspicious.
The B.C. RCMP’s Special Projects Unit was brought into the investigation in 2015, and officers say “significant police resources” were used to gather enough evidence to support criminal charges. Inspector Mike Kurvers explains complex cases like this one involve hundreds of pieces of forensic evidence, along with interviews and tips to follow up on.
“While we conduct our investigation, a family and a whole community is left to mourn the loss of their loved one, looking for answers as to why and how their family member could be the victim of such a senseless crime. Over these last three years, investigators took the necessary time and commitment until enough evidence led to a single suspect.”
Wokeley was arrested in Fort St. John on October 27, 2017. He is facing charges of second degree murder, arson, and indignity to human remains, with a court date set for November 1st. Investigators told Napoleon’s family on the weekend, and RCMP Victim Services has been brought in.
Police say the accused and the victim were known to each other through the community, but they did not have a domestic relationship. Inspector Stephen Cocks adds that the indignity charge stems from the RCMP’s conclusion that Napoleon was killed before she was burned in the fire.
“I can confirm that the investigation determined this was an isolated incident,” says Cocks. “I can also confirm that our investigation has also not determined any other information that would see additional charges being laid in connection with any other missing or homicide investigations.”
Napoleon’s cause of death has not been released.