IHIT Cpl. Frank Jang holds up a photo of Sean McKenzie, 27, who is facing a first-degree murder charge in connection to the death of Belgian tourist Amelie Sakkalis, 28, near Boston Bar on Aug. 22. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)

B.C. man facing first-degree murder charge in death of Belgian tourist

Amelie Sakkalis’ body was found on Aug. 22 near Boston Bar

A B.C man has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of a 28-year-old Belgian tourist near Boston Bar on Aug. 22.

Sean McKenzie, 27, of Oliver, was initially arrested at the crime scene where police found Amelie Christelle Sakkalis’ body in a rural area near Hwy. 1 at about 7:45 p.m.

Homicide investigators say McKenzie was then let go after his arrest as police did not have sufficient evidence to detain him. Mckenzie was the owner of a white van found on the scene.

“He was not known to police and he does not have a criminal record,” Cpl. Frank Jang told reporters Monday.

“He travels extensively through the province… for work.”

Jang did not elaborate on what job McKenzie held, nor why Crown was pursuing first-degree murder charges.

Sakkalis had been travelling through Canada for a couple of weeks before her death.

“Amelie’s family in Belgium has been notified of the developments in her case,” Jang said.

Homicide investigators believe Sakkalis was picked up by McKenzie somewhere between Penticton and where her body was found.

Jang said that police received a call that led them to Sakkalis’ body, but would not elaborate on who had made that call.

Sakkalis had been in Penticton long enough to be reported missing, police said.

“They had just recently met that day,” said Jang.

“If you saw [McKenzie] with Amelie Sakkalis that day, on Aug. 22, that’s important to us. Pick up the phone and call us.”


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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