The Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit (VIIMCU) is investigating after three bodies were found dead in a gravel pit near Coombs.
The BC Coroners Service, which is also investigating, confirmed that it responded to the discovery of three bodies, which were found in the Whiskey Creek area, about 50 kilometres west of Nanaimo.
The bodies were discovered on Sunday in a gravel quarry popular with dirt bikers on Vancouver Island.
According to RCMP, the bodies were found shortly after 2 p.m. on Nov. 1.
A person riding his off-road motorcycle on Melrose Forest Service Road came across an unresponsive man and called authorities, say police.
Police and paramedics determined the man was dead when they arrived on the scene and, after searching the nearby area, found a burned-out travel trailer with two other deceased adults inside.
Another man was located in a second trailer and appeared to be shot so he was airlifted to hospital and is now in stable condition, according to police.
On Monday, the rural gravel pit was blocked by RCMP cruisers in the backroads off Melrose Road as investigators and the coroner gathered evidence at the scene.
“As this investigation is in its infancy, there are many questions that remain unanswered. Initial findings led investigators to believe that this is an isolated incident between parties well known to one another. We do not believe there is any on-going risk to the public,” Cpl. Jesse Foreman with the Oceanside RCMP said.
“VIIMCU investigators are working hard to uncover facts and are enlisting expertise from several support units”, Supt. Sanjaya Wijayakoon BC RCMP Major Crime Unit Operations Officer said.
The BC Coroners Service is conducting a fact-finding investigation to determine who died, how, where, when and by what means.
The names of the deceased are not being released at this time.
Neighbours tell CHEK News the area has become full of squatters in recent months, and that gunshots were heard nearby Saturday night before the bodies were discovered. Neighbours also said the area is known for parties.
Those living around the gravel pit, like Tom Verbrugge whose family runs a Christmas tree farm, wonder about the incident.
“I’m curious and I’m trying to figure out what’s going on,” he said.
Anyone with possible information or dash camera video in relation to that area is being asked to call Oceanside RCMP (250) 380-6211.