Criminology professor says releasing information in any complicated case could jeopardize future conviction.
The two-month search for Makayla Chang ended abruptly this week with the news that the 16-year-old had been found deceased.
Since the day she was reported missing on March 22, police had been visible and vocal about their investigation.
“We’re getting a lot of tips from the public, surrounding areas as well but we have to follow up on all those.” Nanaimo RCMP Constable Gary O’Brien told CHEK News March 30.
But police have now gone completely silent,saying no new information will be released about the investigation, leaving so many questions unanswered like where Chang’s body was found or when it was found.
And did someone stumble across it or did someone tip police off to where they could find it?
All information is critical to the homicide investigation and according to a criminology professor at Vancouver Island University, that’s probably exactly why it’s being kept secret.
“Given the gravity of the crime, police would be keeping that information very tightly under wraps because they just don’t want to chance any risks to the strengths of the case if and when it does make it forward to the courts.” Michael Down, a professor in the Department of Criminology at Vancouver Island University, said.
Even Chang’s family hasn’t been told where she was found, leaving them frustrated and without a specific place to grieve her passing.
“It’s unusual but we have to think maybe if it was announced how many people would go there and mess with evidence right?” Chang’s friend Brandy Mckee said.
“We just have to respect it, as hard as it is. The family, you know they would sell everything that they could just for one simple answer and they just don’t have it at this time.”
“Obviously people are intensely curious what’s happened in this terrible situation and sometimes that curiosity can have negative unforeseen consequences.” Down added.
Other questions revolve around 57-year-old Steven Bacon, with whom Makayla had some sort of friendship.
She was known to stay with him from time to time in his Bruce Avenue home.
Neighbours say he left town a week after Chang disappeared.
Police have been tight-lipped about his involvement and while they have spoken with him, they’ve never named him a person of interest.