Homicide investigators have identified the woman found dead under suspicious circumstances outside Hope, B.C., this week as a 19-year-old who led a “transient lifestyle.”
Authorities said Melissa Elizabeth Steele’s body was discovered off Highway 1 by a passing motorist on Wednesday afternoon.
RCMP officers suspected foul play in Steele’s death, and called the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team to take over the case.
Police have not commented on a possible cause of death, but said an autopsy is being conducted on the deceased next week.
Authorities are trying to piece together Steele’s activities in the lead-up to her death, and asked anyone with information that could assist their investigation to come forward.
The only other detail police provided about her is that she was “known to frequent the downtown area of Vancouver.”
IHIT also asked anyone with dash cam video taken between Boston Bar and Hope on Tuesday or Wednesday to call 1-877-551-4448. Tipsters who want to remain anonymous can instead call Crime Stoppers at 1-877-222-8477.
The B.C. Coroners Service is conducting its own fact-finding investigation into Steele’s death, IHIT said.