Human remains discovered Saturday, Dec. 19 near Hanceville on Highway 20 are believed to be missing man Randolph Quilt, confirmed Alexis Creek RCMP Monday.
“Personal effects and clothing located at the scene led investigators to believe that is was Mr. Randolph Quilt,” said Alexis Creek Sgt. Trevor Romanchych Monday. “A positive ID will have to be made through a DNA comparison to the family of Randolph.”
Quilt, 59, was reported missing to the Alexis Creek RCMP on Nov. 29, 2020 and last seen by his family on Sept. 26.
Romanchych confirmed it was a highway and roads worker who located the remains on the side of Highway 20 between Hanceville and Riske Creek. The worker notified the Alexis Creek RCMP who attended the location.
Quilt’s family, including his first cousin and Xeni Gwet’in Chief Jimmy Lulua, attended the location and a cultural ceremony took place Saturday evening.
“We had a few people from each First Nations community and it really showed the unification of our nation,” Lulua said. “Our women’s council shared songs and prayers and the family was supported in sending him off in a good way.”
Jessica Setah brought tobacco ties, which Lulua said is new for the nation, but it was very respectful.
On Monday Lulua said he received an update from the RCMP that items in the backpack found at the site, which was about three kilometres east of Lee’s Corner on Highway 20, included Quilt’s identification and diabetic medication.
“We will wait for the DNA results, but are 99 per cent certain it is Randolph,” Lulua said.
Quilt’s father Martin Quilt passed away last year and his mother Margaret lives at Xeni Gwet’in First Nation where Quilt stayed when he was home.
“Margaret is the one who asked us to look for him,” Lulua said.
Describing his cousin as a joker, Lulua said Quilt was sarcastic and loved to tease.
“His dad was the same way,” he added.
The remains have been turned over to the BC Coroner Service for further examination, Romanchych said, noting at this time, the death does not appear to be suspicious in nature and the police are continuing to investigate.
“The Alexis Creek RCMP would like to express its gratitude to all those that assisted with trying to locate Mr. Randolph Quilt. Our thoughts and prayers are with Randolph Quilt, his family, and the communities of the Tsilhqot’in Nation,” Romanchych said.
On Saturday, dozens of people helped with a co-ordinated search for Quilt in Williams Lake.
At the end of the day, Chief Lulua was informed about the discovery of human remains, and told the searchers.