Naramata cold case remains a mystery

Woman found dead in Naramata in the 1970s not believed to be connected to murder of 18 B.C. women

Investigators don’t believe there is any connection between a cold case file of a deceased woman found near Naramata in the ‘70s and the murder of 18 women in B.C.

“We certainly haven’t seen it if there is,” said Staff Sgt. Wayne Clary. “The key to this whole thing is finding out who she is, and that hasn’t happened yet which is unfortunate.”

On July 24, 1974, the nude body of a young woman was discovered in an isolated area of Naramata on Chute Lake Road. Two employees of the Canadian Pacific Railway working on a microwave project found the body down an embankment in a heavily wooded area. Examination by a pathologist revealed the woman was in her early 20s, five-foot-seven, 140 to 150 pounds, with long light brown hair.

RCMP suspect it was foul play and listed her as Jane Doe, no one ever came forward to identify the female. Earlier this week, investigators with Project E-PANA, a task force created in 2005 as a result of a number of unsolved murders with links to Highway 16, announced a break in the case of a 1974 disappearance of a Lac La Hache teen. DNA linked U.S. citizen Bobby Jack Fowler to the murder. Fowler had a violent criminal history and died of natural causes while behind bars in Oregon in 2006.

“We look at Fowler and all the other murders and missings, particularly the bodies we have found, and they are all close to major highway arteries. I read this about three months ago when a sergeant in charge of missing persons brought this to my attention and asked if we were looking at this Naramata case. They did look at it a ways back but there is nothing that could bring it any further,” said Clary.

Until RCMP know who the Naramata Jane Doe is or where she is from it is tough to determine anything.

“We need that starting point,” said Clary.

RCMP say Fowler frequented bars and restaurants and was violent toward men and women and picked up hitchhikers. RCMP ask anyone who can recall seeing, talking, employing or working for Fowler to call 1-877-543-4822.