RCMP recover body of Samuel Boucher from water, 2 N.W.T. travellers still missing

The body of Samuel Boucher, one of the three missing travellers in the Northwest Territories, was retrieved from a large area of open water on Monday morning, according to a RCMP news release Tuesday afternoon.

Body of Samuel Boucher, 65, of Lutselk'e, N.W.T., recovered; Jake Gully of Fort Good Hope named as 3rd person

The body of Samuel Boucher, left, has been recovered from a large body of water, say police in a news release Tuesday. The other travellers, Cammy Boucher, right, and Jake Gully of Fort Good Hope, N.W.T., are still missing. (Facebook)

The body of Samuel Boucher, one of three missing travellers in the Northwest Territories, was retrieved from a large area of open water on Monday morning, according to an RCMP news release Tuesday afternoon.

The 65-year-old was from Lutselk'e, N.W.T., say police. ​

Samuel, Cammy Boucher, 23, and a third male have been missing since they left Detah, N.W.T., for Lutselk'e on May 13 on a 1990's Black Bombardier Scandic two-seater snowmobile, pulling two toboggans. A search began the next day.

Police said Saturday the search was suspended after spotting a dead person in a large area of open water, between the two communities.

In its latest update, RCMP say they dispatched a crew in a helicopter on Monday morning to retrieve the body.

Three RCMP officers and one person from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans were able to retrieve the deceased person from the water, along with some debris spotted earlier last week.

On Monday night, the N.W.T. Coroner Service confirmed it was Samuel Boucher's body.

Police identify third person

Police also identified Jake Gully, 28, of Fort Good Hope, as the third missing traveller. 

"Evidence collected in the investigation have led RCMP to believe the two missing persons may have suffered the same fate as Samuel Boucher," say police in the news release.

Crystal Roy counts missing traveller Cammy Boucher as a friend. (Gabriela Panz-Beltrandi/CBC)

Crystal Roy counts Cammy as a friend. 

Roy remembers seeing Cammy before she left for Lutselk'e. She says she hugged her tightly.

"She was really outgoing and happy," Roy said. "I have never seen her get mad ever, she really loved to hug people."

Roy said waiting out the search has been difficult.

"Everybody has been really hurt," she said.

"She was very loved. I wish there was more people like her. There was a light in her that never dimmed."

Police say they will continue to survey the area around Etthen Island for signs of the two missing people. The Civil Air Search and Rescue Association will continue working with police to search the area, states the release.

Police are "strongly urging" people to stay off the ice and water.

Police say they remain in touch with the families.

"We are so very sorry for their loss ... We will continue to surveil the area on a regular basis and will make every effort to reunite them with their loved ones."

The investigation remains open for the remaining two people as a missing persons case.