The tight-knit village of Naramata was in a state of shock as police cars descended on the streets with sirens wailing after the discovery of two young men’s bodies found on a forest service road May 10.
At the time, there were reports of two young men seen running through the vineyards of Naramata. Those two were not found by police.
The identities of the murder victims were later revealed to be two brothers from Kamloops – Erick and Carlo Fryer.
Police said the killings were targeted and related to gang and drug activity.
Then one month later, Naramata was rocked to the core when one of their own, a local hairdresser and volunteer firefighter, Kathy Richardson was found murdered in her home June 9.
Police taped off her house and officers stationed themselves there for weeks while a memorial to the well-liked woman grew in her front yard.
Richardson ran a salon out of her home. Many in the community including the Naramata fire chief expressed condolences and grief over her death.
Police later indicated her death was targeted and also connected to the drug and gang activity. Six months later, there have been no arrests in the case. But Penticton RCMP Supt. Brian Hunter did say in November that major crime units in the Lower Mainland are working on Richardson’s case.
The next blow to the community was on June 18, when Richardson’s son Wade Cudmore, 32, along with 35-year-old Anthony Graham were charged in relation to the deaths of Erick and Carlo Fryer.
Cudmore was arrested and remains behind bars going through the court system. Graham remains at large.
In a strange turn of events, the Prince George RCMP sent out a request to help locating missing person Graham but didn’t mention that he is wanted in a double murder in Penticton.
They also didn’t mention he was considered armed and dangerous. The RCMP later apologized for the misstep.
On a quiet Sunday morning, Sept. 5, a Penticton resident out for an early walk made the grisly discovery of a young man lying on the sports track at Pen Hi. RCMP deemed the death a homicide.
It took more than a week for police to release the identity of the murder victim, Penticton resident Taig Savage, 22.
His mom Tracey Savage, who owns Just Hazel cafe in Summerland, described Taig as an inclusive, caring human who often took in people who had nowhere else to go.
“Our world lost a great person — someone who would have helped anyone. The most non-judgmental being I had ever encountered,” she wrote in a tribute to her son.
Since September, police have never released another detail about Taig’s murder.
In early December, Hunter did tell city council that they are making good progress on the case.
The body of 21-year-old Penticton resident Clayton Dyer was discovered on Green Mountain Road on Penticton Indian Band land around 4:48 p.m. on Oct 13.
Evidence at the scene suggested the death was suspicious, said police.
Since then the Southeast District Major Crime Unit took command of the investigation, working with the Penticton Indian Band. Later police said they believe the crime was not random.
There has been no new information about Dyer’s murder since October.
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