60-year-old Martin Payne was found dead in his Metchosin home four weeks ago. The property sits quiet today but back then it was an active crime scene, blocked off by police tape and swarming with investigators.
“We were really informed for the first week or so while the RCMP were still here,” said one neighbour.
In the beginning, Police said Payne’s death was the result of foul play, but also that they believed it was an isolated incident.
But since the police tape and officers left the updates have also stopped —leaving some in his quiet Brookview Drive neighbourhood feeling as if his death has been forgotten.
“Maybe nobody cared that one individual is gone but every person is important. He was our neighbor and we would all like to know what happened to have closure for his family and our community,” said another neighbour who only wants to be known as Elizabeth.
Despite CHEK News’ continued effort to get any information on this investigation, police insist there is no update and Friday no one assigned to the file even responded to our request for comment.
One retired senior RCMP official says it isn’t unusual for police to stay silent.
“They’re obviously trying to protect the integrity of their investigation in terms of evidence and it may very well be that they just don’t have very much that they can say at this time,” said former RCMP deputy commissioner Peter German.
But without any suspect identified and no new information available people have come up with their own theories. Some online, pointing out how the timelines of Metchosin’s recent prison break, involving two men with violent pasts, match up with that of Payne’s death.
On July 7, 2019, at 6:45 p.m. police say two inmates James Lee Busch and Zachary Armitage escaped from William Head Institution in Metchosin.
Two days later in the early morning, neighbours on Brookview drive where Payne lived, hear an unusual commotion.
Later that afternoon, Oak Bay police find Payne’s red Ford F150 parked on Woodburn Avenue. That night, the escaped prisoners are located and arrested in Esquimalt.
Three days later, West Shore RCMP find Martin dead.
Others continue to question their safety.
“Who is out there wandering around and could actually break into your home and kill you?” said one resident.
“It makes me feel uncomfortable I’d like to know that this is a safe place to live,” said Elizabeth.
Four weeks have already passed and there is no telling how many more will go by before we finally get answers.