RCMP say they identified complete remains of woman missing for 30 years

Donna Charlie was murdered in 1990 and her headless body was found in downtown Prince George. Police announce they have found complete remains.

Families of Indigenous men

The RCMP say they’ve confirmed that a head found in a Prince George, B.C. park in October is that of Donna Charlie. The discovery comes 30 years after Charlie’s killer was convicted of her murder.

In April 1991, the police located her headless body buried in a shallow grave in downtown Prince George.

RCMP from the Prince George detachment say the head they recently discovered was at Connaught Hill Park.

While the initial investigation resulted in a conviction, police say the file remained open with its missing persons unit because not all of her remains were accounted for.

Gerald Smaaslet, 30, told his trial in 1992 that he buried the woman’s head on Connaught Hill.

Charlie was reported missing from the Tsay Keh Dene First Nation (then known as Ingenika) by her sister. She was last seen with her Smaaslet on Aug. 30, 1990.

While a jury convicted him of second degree, his conviction was lowered to manslaughter after he appealed his sentence.

A woman, whose name is under a publication ban and only identified as CK, testified at Smaaslet’s trial that during their relationship, they lived a motel and he would only allow her to leave in his company.

She told the court that she had escaped in a cab when the hotel manager had come to fix a bathroom sink.

In her victim impact statement, CK said she had flashbacks and was fearful of entering in to another relationship due to her time with Smaaslet.

An RCMP news release says Charlie’s family has been notified of the discovery.

With files by the Canadian Press

Danielle is a Métis writer, journalist, editor, educator, and podcaster who lives in Treaty 6 (Edmonton, Alberta). She has written for both local and international audiences. You can read (or hear) her work at Canadaland, Chatelaine, Toronto Star (Edmonton), Gig City, BUSTLE, Canadian True Crime Podcast, The Sprawl and now APTN News. Danielle covers politics, arts and culture, and Indigenous Issues.

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