June 22nd, 2024

Police watchdog investigates RCMP over threats against B.C. woman, later found dead

By The Canadian Press on May 24, 2024.

A "Justice for Tatjana" decal is seen on a vehicle in Lumby, B.C., on Monday, May 13, 2024. British Columbia's police watchdog has launched an investigation into the RCMP's handling of alleged threats made five months ago against Tatjana Stefanski, who disappeared from her home in April and was later found dead. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

SURREY, B.C. – British Columbia’s police watchdog has launched an investigation into the RCMP’s handling of alleged threats made five months ago against Tatjana Stefanski, who disappeared from her home in April and was later found dead.

The Independent Investigations Office says it is probing the police response to a December 2023 incident in Lumby, in the B.C. Interior, and that the Lumby and Vernon RCMP detachments received a report “indicating concern for the safety of a woman.”

Stefanski’s husband Jason Gaudreault has told The Canadian Press he and Stefanski, 44, went to police about death threats against her, months before she vanished from their home on April 13 and was found dead the next day.

He says the “extreme” threats to leave Stefanski in a “body bag” were delivered via a messaging app to Stefanski’s father.

The investigations office says it will now seek to determine what if any role police action or inaction may have played in the woman’s death.

It says investigations into the death are being conducted by RCMP Southeast District Major Crimes Unit and the BC Coroners Service.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 24, 2024.

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