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Investigators exploring 'every possible avenue' three months after confirming Trina Hunt's murder

IHIT answers Tri-City News' questions more than six months after the Port Moody woman was first reported missing, while friends and family thank supporters.

Aug. 1, 2021, will mark three months since police confirmed human remains found near Hope, B.C. were those of Trina Hunt.

It's now been more than six months since the Port Moody woman was reported missing and a large search ensued to find the local resident, and also two months since the family offered a $50,000 reward for any information that may lead to an arrest and charges laid.

To date, no arrests have been made.

The latest known publicly-released information came in early June when the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) confirmed police taped off two homes to execute search warrants — one at her Heritage Mountain home (Port Moody) and one in Mission where a vehicle was taken for evidence.

Since those events, the Tri-City News reached out to IHIT several times in an effort to seek clarification and information to share.

Sgt. David Lee, spokesperson for the specialized RCMP division, recently responded to our questions and continues to emphasize that the public reach out to them with any details they may have on Hunt's murder.

"Even if they feel that a tip is dated or old, to please call us to make sure. We will review it against the information we’ve already received," he said.

"The public has greatly assisted in the initial part of the investigation and continue to do so now. Their contributions to the search and canvassing was invaluable. If anyone uncovers any information or evidence, we ask them to call IHIT. There are procedures, protocols, and legalities that the police have to follow to gather the evidence. If the public is unaware of these issues, they may taint the evidence or cause it to become inadmissible."

In terms of an official update, Lee echos his predecessor, Sgt. Frank Jang, in noting Hunt's murder is progressing, but information is on a need-to-know basis to not allow for any potential interference.

"Yes, there are various different investigative leads we can pursue/are pursuing," said Lee when asked by the Tri-City News if new strategies are being considered given the length of time since her body was found near Silver Creek on May 1. 

"We are unable to divulge those specifics as doing so may put the success/outcome of these strategies at risk. IHIT investigators are looking at every possible avenue. Strategies developed internally by investigators, and even leads from the public, are being assessed and followed-up on."

Lee confirms IHIT has received "numerous tips" since the $50,000 reward was announced by Hunt's family members — mother, father, brother and sister-in-law.

When asked how many have come forward, he says it can't give a precise number citing it could be misleading.

"IHIT investigators have looked at each and every one of the tips received, completed an assessment of the information then follow-up with calls or other checks as a result."

Same goes for giving out the exact location near Silver Creek where the 48-year-old was discovered — Hunt would've turned 49 on June 6.

"To provide additional details as to the location, state, may taint the recollection of witnesses who have yet to come forward. What I can advise is that location, in where she was found, suggested criminality [also known as 'foul play']."

When it comes to amateur sleuths trying to debunk Hunt's murder themselves, Lee adds, once more, any new information should go to IHIT first as "we would not want evidence to become lost."

And while investigators decipher tips and details, the Hunt family marked the six months since her missing person's case with a video explaining their endeavours.

On the #JusticeForTrina Facebook page, a video explains, at the time foul play was suspected, more than 500 volunteers spent 1,200 hours searching through forested areas in Port Moody and beyond.

It adds 2,000 km of land was searched — equalling the distance from Port Moody to Los Angeles and ascending to the top of Mount Everest six times.

"This community has shown its love and support over and over again. Together, we will move mountains and we will be Trina's voice." 

As well, Hunt's family has encouraged the person responsible for her murder to come forward.

"You have senselessly taken Trina’s life and have ruined so many others," said family spokesperson Stephanie Ibbott in a video statement.

"Own up to your actions and accept the consequences. It’s the least you can do. We all know you’re out there and our family and the community will continue fighting for answers. And while, painfully, nothing will bring Trina back, our family will get justice for Trina. Trina and all women deserve nothing less."

Anyone with details or tips regarding Hunt's murder can call IHIT at 1-877-551-4448 or email ihitinfo@rcmp-grc.gc.ca.

Anonymous tipsters can contact Crime Stoppers by phone at 1-800-222-8477.