Investigators are comparing DNA from human remains found on a north Okanagan farm in B.C. last week with the DNA of the parents of a Vernon woman who went missing in the spring, her family says.
Traci Genereaux, who was last heard from on May 29, is one of at least five women who have been missing since early 2016 in the region surrounding the Sagmoen family farm, located on Salmon River Road between Vernon and Salmon Arm.
On Friday, her parents were asked by RCMP to provide blood samples, according to her father, Darcy Genereaux. Genereaux and Laurie Nixon visited the local RCMP detachment the same day to have blood drawn.
"It's not a very fun day," Darcy Genereaux told CBC News. "We just want to know where our little girl is. [I want] my daughter to be safe and happy somewhere, myself."
He asked when he might hear if there's a match with the remains, but didn't get a definitive answer. In the meantime, he said, he feels "worse every day."
Mounties have cautioned against speculating about a connection between the Oct. 21 discovery of the remains on the farm and the missing women, but say they are in contact with the women's families.
B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said he can assure the public the RCMP has all the resources it needs.
"They are conducting a very thorough investigation, and when I am able to say more I will," said Farnworth.
Priscilla Potts, the mother of another missing woman, 27-year-old Caitlin Potts, told CBC News she provided investigators with blood and DNA samples in March 2016, shortly after her daughter disappeared. She said Monday she wasn't aware of any other recent requests for samples.
A search on the 9.7-hectare farm property has been underway for 12 days. Police have not said whether the remains belong to one or more persons, but describe the discovery as suspicious.
In early October, the Vernon North Okanagan RCMP issued a public warning to women and sex workers in the area, saying they were investigating an Aug. 28 incident involving a woman who reported she had been threatened by a man with a gun.
Investigators believe the woman had arranged a meeting with a man in the area of Salmon River Road using a website popular with sex workers and escorts.
Curtis Wayne Sagmoen, 36, faces multiples charges, including firearms offences and uttering threats, in connection with that investigation. His family owns the farm at the heart of the investigation.
Sagmoen appeared in court last week and remains in custody pending his next court appearance on Nov. 23.
With files from Angela Sterritt