Family mourns death of Sask. man found near RCMP detachment in B.C.

Debra Sakebow has been searching for her nephew for more than a year, two provinces away.

The family of Brandon Sakebow, 23, said his remains were found on Apr. 6 in Mission, B.C. and identified at the end of the month.

He was originally from Pelican Lake First Nation in central Saskatchewan.

“We’re just thankful that we get to bring him home and to have a little bit of closure,” said Debra. But “there’s still a lot of unanswered questions,” she said.

Debra said Brandon was serving time in Saskatchewan Penitentiary in Prince Albert, before he was transferred to a halfway home in B.C.

According to a news release from B.C.’s Independent Investigations Office (IIO), an unnamed man – whom family said was Brandon – was held in RCMP cells in Mission on the night of Mar. 21, 2020 and was reported missing on Mar. 27.

He was found in a forested area only a few blocks away from the detachment.

“The IIO will investigate to determine what role, if any, police actions or inaction may have played in the man’s death,” it said.

A spokesperson for Mission RCMP said they couldn’t provide comment because of the IIO’s investigation. In a March news release for the anniversary of Brandon’s disappearance, RCMP said seven investigators from the Mission Serious Crime Unit were working on the case.

“If we lived out in B.C., we would have been searching every day,” said Debra.

She said the family made about 10 trips to B.C. to search and hang up missing person posters. They also held an awareness walk and vigil outside of the Spiritwood RCMP detachment in March.

Debra described her nephew as someone who was never shy and always got along with others.

"He had a sense of humour and he made friends really easily,” she said. “He was always giving. Those are the kind of things that I'm going to miss."

Debra said his family suspected something was wrong when Brandon wasn’t answering his mom, and they were very close, she said. She made the missing person report after he didn’t call on Mar. 25 for his mom’s birthday.