Laurie Sakebow breaking into tears upon listening to the account of a dairy farm owner, where Sakebow was arrested by the Mission RCMP for being intoxicated. Patrick Penner / Mission Record.

Laurie Sakebow breaking into tears upon listening to the account of a dairy farm owner, where Sakebow was arrested by the Mission RCMP for being intoxicated. Patrick Penner / Mission Record.

Family confirms body found in Mission is missing son’s, IIO investigating

Brandon Sakebow picked up intoxicated by Mission RCMP shortly before disappearance in March 2020

The Saskatchewan family of an Indigenous man who disappeared shortly after being picked up intoxicated by the Mission RCMP, have confirmed the human remains found on April 6 belong to their son.

B.C.’s police watchdog, the Independent Investigations Office (IIO), is now investigating Brandon Sakebow’s death, as he was arrested by RCMP officers shortly before he disappeared.

“The IIO will investigate to determine what role, if any, police actions or inaction may have played in the man’s death,” said an IIO news release on April 28. “Information provided by the RCMP indicates that on March 21, 2020, a man was arrested, lodged in RCMP cells overnight and released later that day.”

Sakebow’s body was discovered by a hiker in a forested area near the 31000 block of Hillcrest Avenue, less than 400 meters north of the Mission RCMP detachment.

The approximate location of where Sakebow’s body was found, less than 400 meters away from the Mission RCMP detachment.

The family said they were notified of the discovery in an emergency meeting with Mission RCMP officers on April 7, and DNA testing confirmed the identity April 27. He was 23-years old.

RELATED: Hiker discovers human remains in Mission

His family claimed to have received inconsistent information and poor communication from the RCMP during the initial stages of his missing person’s file, which was only remedied after Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) investigators became involved.

“Everything about him missing, him being found, where he was found – it just raises a lot more questions with the family through the RCMP,” said Debra Sakebow, his aunt. “Nothing makes sense.”

181 days gone: Family continues to look for man last seen in Mission RCMP custody 6 months ago

The family, who live in Pelican Lake First Nation, have made approximately 10 trips to B.C. to search for Sakebow since his missing persons report was filed on March 27, 2020. His mother, Laurie, made even more trips alone.

In September 2020, the family was shown footage from inside the holding cell where Sakebow was reportedly held, but questioned whether the man in the images was actually him. They’ve been working with FSIN investigators to get the entire nine hours of footage released to them, Debra said.

Sakebow was paroled from federal prison in late February 2020, and spent time in an Abbotsford halfway house before a fire displaced all the residents. His belongings, his cellphone, wallet and clothes, were discovered in a stolen van in Mission by Abbotsford Police on March 24.

FSIN has requested an autopsy and toxicology report from the B.C. Coroners officer, Debra said. She said the family and FSIN investigators will sit down with Mission RCMP officers at some point in the future.

The FSIN is the only Canadian provincial Indigenous agency, and represents all the First Nations in Saskatchewan.


@portmoodypigeon
patrick.penner@missioncityrecord.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

RELATED: Hundreds march in Saskatchewan in support of family searching for man last seen in Mission

Hundreds turned out for an awareness walk and candlelight vigil in Saskatchewan on March 20, to mark a full-year since Laurie Sakebow last heard from her son, Brandon.

missing First NationsMission

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Peachland resident and cleanup volunteer Lloyd Stinson Sotas holds up a discarded TV riddled with bullet holes. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
PHOTOS: Peachland residents clean up community watershed

More than 70 people gave back to Mother Earth by assisting with the cleanup

Steven Brown is running for Penticton city council in the June by-election. (Contributed)
Penticton race director throws hat into city council ring

Steven Brown will run with a focus on small business

Penticton Vees celebrate a goal in their second win to start their season on Saturday night at the SOEC. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Penticton Vees head into final weekend tied for first in league

The Vees have two games to take the top spot

Coronavirus 3D illustration. (CDC photo)
Two Summerland businesses closed due to COVID-19

The businesses are listed on the Interior Health website

Memorials have been set up to honour those who died during the Second World War. (Pixabay.com)
COLUMN: It’s time to stop making comparisons to Hitler

The deadliest, most destructive war in human history should not become a metaphor

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton superstar McDavid hits 100-point mark as Oilers edge Canucks 4-3

NHL scoring leader needs just 53 games to reach century mark

City of Vernon Coun. Dalvir Nahal proposed two blocks of Main Street be closed to bolster recovery for downtown businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Caitlin Clow - Vernon Morning Star)
Vernon’s ‘support local’ Main Street closure would cost city $24K, staff say

Bylaw costs, loss of parking revenue and equipment logistics behind price tag

Five properties have been added to the Lake Country fire protection zone, after council moved to expand the local service area Tuesday, May 4, 2021. (Google Maps)
Lake Country expands fire protection zone, covering 5 exposed properties

The properties petitioned to join the local service area after being left out ‘for reasons unknown’

VSAR’s Air Rescue One unit assisted in a rescue in West Kelowna May 3, 2021. (VSAR screenshot)
VIDEO: VSAR’s Air Rescue One team assists in West Kelowna Rescue

The Vernon Search and Rescue helicopter team pulled off a successful rescue Monday

Officials are surveying the streets of Vernon to get a better sense of the issue of homelessness in the city, as part of the province’s point-in-time homeless count for 2021. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Province conducts homeless count in Vernon

It’s the first time Vernon has been included in the provincial homeless count

A map showing where the most number of cases were recorded from April 23 to 29. This map, revealing a breakdown of infections by neighborhood, was pulled from a data package leaked to the Vancouver Sun last week (and independently verified).
36 Abbotsford schools flagged for COVID-19 exposures in the last 2 weeks, shattering record

Clearbrook Elementary recorded an ‘exposure’ on all 11 school days

A proposed development would see two four-storey affordable housing complexes erected on Adair Street in Armstrong, next to the Nor-Val Arena. (Google Maps)
Local tenants to be prioritized for Armstrong affordable housing project

Staff have drafted an expression of interest to find a developer to move forward with on the project

Most Read