The search for a Chilliwack, B.C., mother of two missing for more than four months has ended in tragedy.
RCMP confirmed Thursday that the body of 23-year-old Shaelene Keeler Bell was located in the Fraser River near Coquitlam on Wednesday.
In a media release, Chilliwack RCMP said it had concluded its investigation “as there is no evidence to support criminal involvement in this death.”
The BC Coroners Service is conducting its own investigation to determine how, where, when and by what means she died.
Reached by phone Thursday, Bell’s family said it had just learned the tragic news on Wednesday, and was still reeling.
“We appreciate and thank everybody for their concern and help and community involvement in all the searches and the fundraising that has been done on Shaelene’s behalf,” a family spokesperson said.
Bell was last seen Jan. 30, in the 9300-block of Edward Street in Chilliwack. Her family said her car was later located with her cellphone and other personal belongings still inside.
“Shaelene left her two small boys at home with a friend,” her mother Alina Durham told Global News at the time. “Anyone who knows Shae, knows she would never, ever abandon her boys.”
Bell’s disappearance prompted a massive search and community campaign, which included hanging banners on the freeway, to unearth any information about her whereabouts.
A GoFundMe campaign to help with search efforts and support her family raised more than $14,000.