A Northwest Territories woman whose body was found by a driver beside a highway in British Columbia has been identified as Brittany Martel.
The 27-year-old, from the Hay River reserve, was living in West Kelowna. Her body was discovered on Sunday, some 125 km west by road, on BC’s Highway 5 south of Merritt.
A driver discovered Martel’s body while stretching their legs outside their vehicle during traffic created by a collision on the highway.
RCMP have so far indicated there is no immediate evidence of crime associated with Martel’s death, but the circumstances in which her body was found “does make it suspicious,” a BC police spokesperson told the Merritt Herald newspaper earlier. The investigation continues.
Martel had recently been the subject of a separate missing persons alert.
She was declared missing by her family in mid-June, but turned up safe and well on July 3, having been hitchhiking between BC and the NWT.
It is not clear how long Martel’s body had been in the same location before being discovered by chance.
Dozens of messages have been left on Martel’s Facebook page, where family members identified hers as the body discovered by the roadside. The news was first reported by APTN.
Talia Trayner wrote: “So hard to believe that I’m saying this but, rest easy beautiful.
“I always looked up to you. You were such a strong and caring woman. I love you so very much big sister.”