PORT HARDY—A 19-year-old Port Hardy man was under arrest awaiting homicide charges on Monday following the apparent murder late Sunday night of a 28-year-old woman in a vacant house on Tsulquate Road.
Cindy Scow, 28, was pronounced dead at Port Hardy Hospital shortly after 1 a.m. Monday.
Upon receiving a call reporting a woman in need of medical assistance, RCMP responded shortly before 11 p.m. Sunday to the house at 115 Tsulquate Road, located on the Gwa'sala-'Nakwaxda'xw Reserve directly across from the band office.
Scow, the victim of an apparent physical assault, was transported to Port Hardy Hospital, where she was declared dead shortly after 1 a.m. Monday. A forensic autopsy will be conducted by B.C. Coroner Service in the coming days to determine a specific cause of death.
The 19-year-old man was arrested shortly before midnight and remains in custody pending charges. He was expected to be charged and his name released later Monday, the RCMP said in a written release late Monday morning.
"The young guy they got, they said he confessed himself," said Blanche Walkus, Scow's mother, who spoke with some of the witnesses to Sunday's incident. "He said he killed her."
Walkus had been in touch with Scow earlier on Sunday and was expecting her to visit that evening. But the young woman never arrived.
"The first text I got, they said she was gone," said Blanche Walkus, Scow's mother. "When the ambulance finally came she wasn't responding. They couldn't do any more at the hospital; she was gone."
Walkus and other family members and friends grieved in front of the band office Monday afternoon while young students walked or rode bikes home from school and, across the street, police investigators examined evidence and interviewed neighbours.
Others, including witnesses to Sunday night's incident, met with counselors inside the band office.
"The ones that found her (Sunday) night are meeting right now," said Walkus, seated in a chair and holding a photo with an image of a smiling Scow. "They're going through trauma, there was so much blood."
RCMP on Monday did not reveal details of the alleged killing or discuss a possible motive.
An investigation continues involving Port Hardy RCMP, the RCMP Forensic Identification Service, the BC Coroner Service and Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit. Investigators request anyone with information about this investigation contact Port Hardy RCMP at 250-949-6335 or anonymously through Crimestoppers, at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).
RCMP Victim Services and crisis workers are also available to provide support for anybody in the community requesting help. To access this support, contact Port Hardy RCMP.