The remains of missing Port Moody woman Trina Hunt have been found in Hope.
Police suspect foul play and are investigating her death as possible murder, according to a press release from the Lower Mainland's Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT).
Hunt, 48, was reportedly last seen in her Port Moody home on the morning of Jan. 18 when her husband left for work. Her disappearance sparked a massive community search scouring her neighbourhood's streets and forested trails. But no trace of the woman was ever found.
Now, police say Hunt's body was found in the morning of March 29 in the Silver Creek area of Hope, according to an IHIT press release. That's more than 120 kilometres away from her home.
Homicide detectives immediately took control of the investigation and have been working with the BC Coroners Service over the last month to correctly identify the body.
IHIT said it will be working with the Port Moody Police Department to investigate Hunt's death as a homicide case.
“As this is an active and ongoing investigation, there will be no further details provided at this time,” said Sgt. Frank Jang of IHIT in a written statement.
The pivot to a murder investigation comes on the heels of months of searching during which police regularly assured the public no foul play was suspected. At one point, the Port Moody Police Department said it referred the case to the IHIT, only to be turned down because, without suspected foul play, the case didn't meet the homicide unit's mandate.
FAMILY PROCESSING NEWS 'WITH SHATTERED HEARTS'
Stephanie Ibbott, Hunt's cousin-in-law and spokesperson for the late woman's family, was not immediately available for comment but said the family is still processing the news. In a post to social media shortly after the police announcement, Ibbott shared a photo memorializing Hunt with the subscript: "Your sparkle will never fade" and "1972-2021."
Posted by Stephanie Stella Ibbott on Saturday, May 1, 2021
In another post to Facebook, Ibbott spoke "with shattered hearts" to the community of people who sprung up to help find Hunt.
“We are forever grateful for your love through all of this,” wrote Ibbott. “This community of friends, family and strangers (who now feel like friends) has been there to support us in finding Trina each step of the way. Your words, thoughts, kindness and outpouring of love are truly what has kept us going these past 3.5 months. We need your love and support more than ever right now.”
In the months since her disappearance, the community came together any way they could to bring hope to what family described as "unimaginable grief." Hunt, who loved to cook, was remembered through an online foodie movement under the hashtag #thetableissetfortrina, with those taking part asked to cook a meal in her honour.
Hamstrung from gathering due to pandemic restrictions, many turned to create touching videos, keeping the woman and who she loved in the minds of the public.
At other times, desperate family members held public demonstrations to keep hope alive, and when that didn't work, they turned to GoFundMe to help expand the search perimeter.
Anyone with information related to Trina Hunt’s death is asked to contact the IHIT information line at 1-877-551-IHIT (4448) or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anonymous tipsters can contact Crime Stoppers by phone at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).