Woman found dead in B.C. had plans to document her travels on the road

A woman who was found dead in British Columbia this week had contacted APTN News earlier in July about documenting her hitchhiking adventures.

The body of 27-year-old Brittany Martel was discovered by a motorist on Hwy 5 south of Merritt, B.C., 127 kilometres west of Kelowna.

Her family confirmed the woman’s identity.

Martel had disappeared before.

In mid-June, she was last seen in West Kelowna, B.C.

Family and friends were concerned for Martel’s health and well-being and her cell phone was no longer working.

A missing persons report was filed and posted by RCMP which stated that Martel was planning to hitchhike to the N.W.T. and said she may be travelling with a male friend.

On July 3 she arrived back home safely in Hay River, NWT.

Because Martel travelled often in B.C., APTN reached out to her on Facebook on July 9 to talk about the cancellation of the Greyhound bus routes in Western Canada.

She, in turn, contacted APTN and left a voicemail on July 11 saying she wanted to talk about her experiences on the road.

“Hi, this is Brittany Martel calling. I just got your message on Facebook, on messenger and I am interested in, if you are interested in my story of how I went hitchhiking,” said Martel’s message on the APTN’s voicemail.

“It is very long, I would tell you day by day what I went through. Yeah, I am interested in telling you what I said.”


Listen to the voicemail here:


She left Hay River sometime after this.

Martel’s body was discovered July 23 near the Mine Cree Rd according to the police.

According to media reports, police weren’t clear on how long Martel had been there.

“It’s sort of a catch-22. There is nothing right now to point to it being suspicious but at the same time given where she was found and the circumstances in which she was found and that it does make it suspicious until we rule out a cause of death,” RCMP Staff Sgt. Lorne Wood told the Merrit Herald.

Martel was loved by many.

Her Facebook timeline was flooded as news reached her home community.

Her cousin Jessica Martel wrote on Facebook, “No mother should ever bury her child💔😭 Im so sorry aunty ❤ I don’t wanna let you go bree you were something very special to me and I thought we still had a lot of memories to make”…”Gonna miss you so much big cuz .”

APTN reached out to her friends who did not wish to comment until the family had prepared a statement.

 

Video Journalist / Yellowknife

Charlotte joined APTN in January 2017 as a video journalist in Yellowknife, N.W.T.. Before coming to APTN she interned at CTV Lethbridge, earned her BA in feminist research from Western University and her obtained post-graduate in journalism at Humber College.


70 thoughts on “Woman found dead in B.C. had plans to document her travels on the road

  1. Prayers to Brittany Martel and to her family and friends. This is devastating and the case needs to have a conclusion on the circumstances, suspicious or not! Leaves a void for the family and if foul play is involved then the family and community needs the truth.
    Any hitchhiking is risky, especially giving the Highway of Tears in the Interior. These young ladies or men shouldn’t do this. So Sadd!!!

  2. Prayers to Brittany Martel and to her family and friends. This is devastating and the case needs to have a conclusion on the circumstances, suspicious or not! Leaves a void for the family and if foul play is involved then the family and community needs the truth.
    Any hitchhiking is risky, especially giving the Highway of Tears in the Interior. These young ladies or men shouldn’t do this. So Sadd!!!

  3. I still remember when Nicole Hoar went missing and massive billboard posters lined Hwy #16, now known as #The Hwy of Tears. I was the MH counsellor at Dze L K’ant Friendship Centre in Smithers, BC and the RCMP would barely give me a moment’s attention, let alone listen and enquire, or simply care… and I’m a White woman. I felt unsafe there and made to feel unimportant. It was intimidation to the maximum that I observed from their machismo body language, stone cold angryman faces, & verbal language. It shouted that it was an institution of sexism & racism, alibg with potentially misogyny/unsafe space for every woman, but especially Indigenous Women & Men and persons of colour. I was there from January 2000- November 2002.

  4. I still remember when Nicole Hoar went missing and massive billboard posters lined Hwy #16, now known as #The Hwy of Tears. I was the MH counsellor at Dze L K’ant Friendship Centre in Smithers, BC and the RCMP would barely give me a moment’s attention, let alone listen and enquire, or simply care… and I’m a White woman. I felt unsafe there and made to feel unimportant. It was intimidation to the maximum that I observed from their machismo body language, stone cold angryman faces, & verbal language. It shouted that it was an institution of sexism & racism, alibg with potentially misogyny/unsafe space for every woman, but especially Indigenous Women & Men and persons of colour. I was there from January 2000- November 2002.

  5. Aptn wanted to do a story on this young ladies hitch hiking journey…
    Where was her family…
    Why would she do such a thing…
    The millions of dollars spent on aboriginal women missing and murdered… spent in earnest.
    When all that needs to be conveyed is common sense. Perhaps the millions spent could have been better utilized in transportation systems or bus fares.
    There are many people of every race and colour that are missing and murdered and there is no millions of dollars being spent to find out why or who.
    Especially when drugs and alchohol are a root cause. Those persons are truly forgotten but only remembered and searched for by their own families, by placing posters in communities. They have no support by government nor RCMP nor the community. It is a sad, sad state of affairs.
    This needed to be said.

  6. Aptn wanted to do a story on this young ladies hitch hiking journey…
    Where was her family…
    Why would she do such a thing…
    The millions of dollars spent on aboriginal women missing and murdered… spent in earnest.
    When all that needs to be conveyed is common sense. Perhaps the millions spent could have been better utilized in transportation systems or bus fares.
    There are many people of every race and colour that are missing and murdered and there is no millions of dollars being spent to find out why or who.
    Especially when drugs and alchohol are a root cause. Those persons are truly forgotten but only remembered and searched for by their own families, by placing posters in communities. They have no support by government nor RCMP nor the community. It is a sad, sad state of affairs.
    This needed to be said.

  7. Please contact me in regards to an incident tat happened a few years ago with a trucker

  8. Love and prayers for strength to deal with such a tragic loss of your beautiful girl!

  9. So sorry to hear the outcome of this young aboriginal lady. It is heartbreaking to read this. Condolences are out to this family…

  10. So sorry to hear the outcome of this young aboriginal lady. It is heartbreaking to read this. Condolences are out to this family…

  11. Blessings and love to all the friends and family, this must be heartbreaking, I am so sorry.

  12. Our government needs to realize this and have a plan for people needing to travel from rural communities. They fund many things to make things right so help these people out. With no bus services available look at figuring out some safe transportation. No person man or women should have to be putting themselves at risk.

  13. Why don’t people know about the dangers of strangers and hitchhiking?? Every day that danger increases, there is a significant chance you will never be seen or heard from again. Are you really alright with that?? Older people should also set this example for younger people and also for their kids. Why would you hitchhike??

    1. For some its the only means of travel. You should really look into some thibgs firsthand before commenting. Especially on something such as this where your words could have a huge impact on what families are already going through.

      1. True that! Judgement is no way to support when you don’t know the reasons behind people’s choices. thanks S.

  14. This sadden me. Why? or No sence? This young girl wanted to tell her stories, ” hitch hiking” ; unfortunately she will never have that chance. My prayers and stenght to her family especially her mother or grandmother. No mother should out live her child. How many more mothers will cry with broken heart and spirit for their child (ren)? For the young girls who continue to take that chance of life; please think twice or ask someone before you take that road. You are all angels. Ask or seek assistance, there is someone’s angel out there who is willing to lending a helping hand too. :'(

  15. Our government needs to realize this and have a plan for people needing to travel from rural communities. They fund many things to make things right so help these people out. With no bus services available look at figuring out some safe transportation. No person man or women should have to be putting themselves at risk.

  16. Why don’t people know about the dangers of strangers and hitchhiking?? Every day that danger increases, there is a significant chance you will never be seen or heard from again. Are you really alright with that?? Older people should also set this example for younger people and also for their kids. Why would you hitchhike??

    1. For some its the only means of travel. You should really look into some thibgs firsthand before commenting. Especially on something such as this where your words could have a huge impact on what families are already going through.

  17. This sadden me. Why? or No sence? This young girl wanted to tell her stories, ” hitch hiking” ; unfortunately she will never have that chance. My prayers and stenght to her family especially her mother or grandmother. No mother should out live her child. How many more mothers will cry with broken heart and spirit for their child (ren)? For the young girls who continue to take that chance of life; please think twice or ask someone before you take that road. You are all angels. Ask or seek assistance, there is someone’s angel out there who is willing to lending a helping hand too. :'(

  18. So sad that this young woman is gone. My condolences to all her family and friends.
    RIP Sister

  19. This is insane. Image she won’t be the only one! I am going to have to hitch hike from quesnel to kamloops to see my specialist for my lung disease….your kids will be doing it 2. The government buys out every large company…they need to buy put grey hound get better smaller buses and continue this service. ASAP

    1. jenn please reconsider!!!! set up a go fund me account and ask for help with transport for your much needed medical visits!!!

    2. There is a medical bus that runs from Quesnel, why hitch hike? Book appointments around that schedule and be safe rather than sorry

    3. Northern Health bus goes through Quesnel and can get you to cache creek at least.Maybe you can get a specialist in Vancouver so you can a ride on this bus all the way.It’s $40 round trip to Vancouver.They have a website.Stay safe

  20. Very sorry to hear this. I’m not sure why anyone would hitchhike in BC anymore though. It doesn’t make sense.

    1. Because bushes do not accommodate small rural areas. The closest city that has a bus route from my home town is 500km. So hitchhiking is what has to be done.

  21. This is insane. Image she won’t be the only one! I am going to have to hitch hike from quesnel to kamloops to see my specialist for my lung disease….your kids will be doing it 2. The government buys out every large company…they need to buy put grey hound get better smaller buses and continue this service. ASAP

    1. jenn please reconsider!!!! set up a go fund me account and ask for help with transport for your much needed medical visits!!!

    2. There is a medical bus that runs from Quesnel, why hitch hike? Book appointments around that schedule and be safe rather than sorry

    3. Northern Health bus goes through Quesnel and can get you to cache creek at least.Maybe you can get a specialist in Vancouver so you can a ride on this bus all the way.It’s $40 round trip to Vancouver.They have a website.Stay safe

  22. Very sorry to hear this. I’m not sure why anyone would hitchhike in BC anymore though. It doesn’t make sense.

    1. Because bushes do not accommodate small rural areas. The closest city that has a bus route from my home town is 500km. So hitchhiking is what has to be done.

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