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Meeting with RCMP – March 17, 2011

17 Mar

Constable Jennifer McLean from 10:00 am – 12:45 pm.

She was very approachable and patient. She stated that she has looked through the file but does not have thorough knowledge on everything quite yet.

Here are our notes (questions are bolded):

 

7-11, Unknown Girls & Witnesses

When looking through media clippings, there are articles contradicting each other regarding the unknown girls that were last seen with Brianne at 7-11. In the beginning, there were only two composites with not enough details for a third. Later, one of the sketches of the two girls was used for a third girl. A lot of emphasis has been put on finding out who these girls are. Accuracy is of utmost importance. Please explain.

  • This was a bit confusing for us to explain verbally.
  • Cst. McLean wrote down the website address and will take a look at my post regarding the sketches of the 7-11 girls.
  • I will follow up with an email to Sgt. Art Kleinsmith.
  • Ask MCSC.

 

How confident were the witnesses about their memories and descriptions of these girls? I realize they had to be hypnotized in order to come up with the sketches we’ve all seen. Did the witnesses that were hypnotized know each other in any way? (were they together as a couple, friends, or totally separate people) Can you give any witnesses my contact information?

  • Cst. McLean will refer witnesses to the Find Brianne website.
  • She wasn’t sure about the accuracy of their descriptions or the method of hypnotism.
  • Will look in to relationship of 7-11 witnesses.
  • Ask MCSC.

 

There are also two separate media sources that report two seemingly different men seen at 7-11. One was a man seen filling his white truck with gas (quads in the truck bed). The other was a man in a red truck seen “leering” at the girls.

from the CBC –

Quote

Lee hypnotised a female friend of Brianne’s. Under hypnotism, she told Lee of a guy in a red truck that was hanging around Brianne and her girlfriends. He apparently was leering at the girls. This witness was able to help police come up with a composite drawing of the guy in the red truck.

What happened to the composite of this man? When and why did these men disappear from the story? Please explain. May I obtain a copy of this composite?

  • I explained to Cst. McLean that I had heard the man in the white truck was found and removed from the equation.
  • She did not remember seeing a male composite in Brianne’s file but will look in to it.
  • Ask MCSC.

 

Is there really no 7-11 tape in existence? A 7-11 employee that was working that night states that this was an unusual occurrence. A media clipping describes some of the events that were taking place between these girls and Brianne (one girl leaning on hood of Brianne’s car, another went into the store with Brianne but they didn’t purchase anything).

  • Cst. McLean stated that if there was a 7-11 tape, RCMP would use it to identify people.

 

The Car

  • Obtained one photo (will also post separately) and was able to view the rest. This photo does show some damage to the front driver’s side of the car.
Brianne's Car in RCMP Garage

Brianne's Car in RCMP Garage

  • We are allowed to describe the rest of the photos with text:
  • Outside car on the ground: package of “Colts” (cigarillos), can of Budweiser, empty air freshener package
  • Inside car: 1 yellow and 1 red air freshener hanging from rearview mirror, beach towel, 1 pouch of cigarettes on console between driver and passenger seat (looks to be either Players brand or Number 7 blue), 6-pack of Grower’s Blackberry Wine Coolers (visibly you can only see two coolers still in the box – one cooler is open – the other closed, the box is only open on one side)
  • The dash and outside of the car are dusty.
  • The foliage around the car is quite heavy. The passenger door is ajar as described in media. The passenger window is open. Keys are in the ignition and they appear to be in the “off” position.

 

The entire car was inspected. Does this include the under carriage? Was the ignition set to “on” or “off”? Were the head lights set to “on” or “off”? What gear was the car in? Was the parking brake “on” or “off”?

  • The most I could get was what we could see in the photos mentioned above.
  • Cst. McLean said car inspections are very thorough.

 

Does RCMP think the car was simply pushed down the gully? How long do they figure the car was sitting there and why? Does the scene seem staged?

  • Cst. Mclean did not wish to give her opinion on how the car was placed in the gully.
  • She did give the opinion that the car was probably there the whole time (since Saturday night). I’m sure she would like me to stress this as her opinion. The photos do show the car to be fairly dusty, contrary to our previous belief.

 

There are rumors the car was wiped clean? Is this true or false?

  • Cst. McLean did not say but did state that it is difficult to lift finger prints from a very dusty vehicle, particularly 5 days later. It is also difficult to lift finger prints from the inside of a vehicle due to textured surfaces, etc. Dust causes problems when trying to lift prints.

 

Were any strange finger prints found whatsoever? Apparently, there were smudged prints on the coolers and there was one set of unidentified prints. If so, where were the unknown finger prints found on the vehicle?

  • Cst. McLean did not say.

 

A size 11 men’s boot print was found in the dirt close to Brianne’s car. Do police believe this foot print is suspicious? Apparently no cast of the boot print was taken. Is there a photo? May I obtain a copy?

  • Cst. McLean did not say but did state that it could have been difficult because the area was dry and dusty, or it may have only been a partial print. There could have been dirt moving around the print, making it difficult to tell the make and model of the boot. This may be why a cast was not taken.

 

I found more contradictions in regard to the tracking dogs. The dogs picked up Brianne’s scent just outside her vehicle and at the end of Front Street. One media clipping describes the dogs losing her scent 3 metres from the car. Was it just outside the car, or 3 metres from the car? How did the dogs pick her scent up at the end of Front Street? (what brought them there) Please explain.

  • Cst. McLean did not seem to know much about this. MCSC may have more information regarding details on how and why the tracking dogs were used. The RCMP did use their own dogs and MCSC also had some brought in.

 

Which areas did the tracking dogs cover when looking for Brianne over the years?

  • Cst. McLean will look in to finding this information (which areas were searched by RCMP dogs). MCSC will also have information on this.

 

Was DNA preserved from the coolers? Were any tests done?

  • Cst. McLean did not say.

 

Please describe the coolers in Brianne’s car. There are many different rumors about the details of the coolers. Please explain and clarify.

  • Cst. McLean did not say but I think she will look in to confirming details on the wine coolers.

 

There were cigarette butt(s) found in the car. Please explain in better detail.

  • Cst. McLean did not say but I think she will look in to confirming details on the cigarette butt(s).

 

Search Areas

Please detail all areas that have been searched. Mapping would be great. I will ask MCSC and any other third parties for the same information and make a universal map. A new search should be organized when the snow melts.

We talked about how the Akolkolex area was well searched. Cst. McLean mentions that the dam may have been searched, possibly by MCSC divers. She doesn’t know which areas were searched all together but she will find out which areas were searched according to RCMP. Volunteer grid searches were also done.

 

Miscellaneous Evidence/Witnesses

Were phone records of Brianne’s number ever retrieved and investigated?

  • Cst. McLean did not say.

 

Do the police save media footage that has been released over the years? Is there any footage of vigils, news casts, etc.? If so, may I have copies of this footage?

  • Cst. McLean stated that news releases by RCMP are saved and she would look in to whether or not she could get me copies (if there are any).

 

Where was all video surveillance retrieved from? Please list locations in Revelstoke where surveillance was inspected for traces of Brianne. I realize not everywhere in Revelstoke had this type of security back then but would still like to know everywhere that was checked.

  • Cst. McLean was not sure of all locations. She said she would find out.

 

There was video surveillance of Brianne in the Cheers Beer & Wine Store that night. Can that footage be released to better show how she looked that night? I remember Brianne having a characteristic walk. I think this would really give people a great picture of her appearance.

  • Cst. McLean will find out if it would be possible for us to obtain a copy of this video.

 

Brianne’s jewelry: Why was the jewelry Brianne was wearing that night never described to the public? Can we have this information? I received as much detail as Sheryl Wolgram could remember and posted on the website. Was a necklace found? Were pawn shops checked (Sicamous, Salmon Arm, etc.)?

  • Cst. McLean will look in to this.

 

Did anyone report seeing Brianne the evening of Friday, September 4, 1998? There’s a period of time where we aren’t sure if she went directly home. A few people reported thinking they saw her in the bar (Rock Pit) on Friday night.

  • Cst. McLean will look in to this.

 

The girl seen by the hunter at Akolkolex on the morning of Sunday, September 6, 1998: She was apparently in the area after having a fight with her boyfriend. This seems odd. Is there a better explanation for her presence out there?

  • Cst. McLean agreed that this does seem odd and would look in to this story further.

 

Other

Are there any timelines of Brianne’s movements made by RCMP on file? May I have a copy? I have had a few requests for a timeline.

  • Cst. McLean did not seem to think there was an existing timeline on file.

 

We found some city council minutes on the Internet, dated February 9, 2010:

Moved by Councillor Welock, seconded by Councillor Halberstadt that S/Sgt. J. Olsen provide an update to Council In Camera on the Brianne Wolgram missing person case within approximately 45 days.

CARRIED

What was the result of the update? Why was an update given to city council and not the public? We were told this information was not open to the public (by the city). What was the nature of this update? Please explain.

  • Cst. McLean will look in to this.

 

This is an ongoing investigation. I’ve heard this a few times now. I understand this to mean the case has not gone “cold” but it doesn’t seem like much has been going on over the last several years. Please explain.

  • Cst. McLean stated that the case is technically cold. The case is considered “ongoing” because, over the last 12+ years, different investigators have gone over the file and will continue to do so. She does plan on better familiarizing herself with the file and will re-interview, etc., in the future. She thinks this will take a long period of time.
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Photos of Echo Lake Road, Akolkolex, and Brianne’s car

7 Mar

These photos belong to Sheryl Wolgram. They were taken in the spring of 1999.

Echo Lake Road

Echo Lake Road. Brianne's car was found in the gully just up ahead, to the right.

Side of the road where Brianne's car was found.

Side of the road where Brianne's car went down.

Cliff looking down at where Brianne's car was found.

Cliff looking down at where Brianne's car was found.

Site where Brianne's car was found.

Site where Brianne's car was found.

Site where Brianne's car was found.

Site where Brianne's car was found.

6 miles south of Revelstoke - Back of Mt. MacPherson

6 miles south of Revelstoke - Back of Mt. MacPherson

6 miles south of Revelstoke - Back of Mt. Begbie

6 miles south of Revelstoke - Back of Mt. Begbie

Brianne's car at home.

Brianne's car at home.

The Car

18 May

At this point in time, we are leaning toward the theory that Brianne’s car was dumped and she was never at that location (18 km mark – Echo Lake Road). It also appears that the car may not have been there too long before it was found. All of this is speculation at the moment. Should we have any updates or corrections to this information, we will update this post. We are waiting to get answers/updates from the RCMP.

Here are some of the reasons:

  • The tracking dogs only picked up on her scent outside of the vehicle. In speaking with someone who is studying tracking dogs, they have said this is not unusual and does not mean she was there, as vehicles are not air-tight. The environment was optimum for dogs to pick up a scent. Even if someone had carried Brianne away from the car, a dog would still pick up her scent.
  • Anyone who has ever traveled the road to where Brianne’s car was found will tell you it’s a bumpy ride. The pavement ends and you must travel a dirt road for several kilometers. You can imagine the experience in a small Acura Integra. Brianne loved that car and would likely be against taking it that far into the “boonies”, particularly in the dark.
  • We have spoken with someone who was working in the area at the time. He had been working out there for about 1 – 2 weeks before the car was spotted. He believes that many trucks would have been passing by that area several times per day. When the police found the vehicle, they had cordoned off the area but allowed the trucks to get through. He had wondered how he had not seen the vehicle before as it was not that far off the road. In his work crew, there would have been somewhere around six sets of eyes passing that location twice a day. He guesses the car would have been dumped before 5:00 am in order to avoid being seen by loggers. Loggers tend to notice small cars driving up logging roads.
  • Many of us have heard the story of a man spotting a girl in that area early Sunday morning. It has been confirmed that there was a girl who came forward saying she was out there that morning. We need to follow-up on this further to get more details, but this may prove that he did not see Brianne.
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