Original Published 16:44 Mar 21, 2022

By Michael Potestio, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

A Kamloops lawyer has been arrested and charged in connection to a suspicious death in Dufferin last week, Kamloops RCMP have confirmed.

Rogelio Butch Bagabuyo, 53, is facing one count of interference with a dead body related to a person found deceased in a vehicle outside a Monterey Place home on March 17, Const. Crystal Evelyn confirmed to KTW.

Bagabuyo, who has a law practice downtown on Victoria Street, was in custody as of Monday (March 21), awaiting a bail hearing, according to court documents.

Evelyn said more information about the incident would be released later in the day on Monday.

At about 10 p.m. on March 17, police were called to the 1600-block of the cul-de-sac Monterey Place for a “suspicious occurrence report,” where they discovered a person deceased inside a vehicle. Accoridng to online court documents, the offence occurred the day before on March 16 in Kamloops.

Mounties had a presence around a home on March 18, where police tape could be seen strewn across the entire front of the property. Behind the tape was a white 2020 GMC model Budget rental van with B.C. licence plate PJ 9131. The van’s Budget logo was accompanied with decals saying “we buy boxes.” The van is now part of the police investigation, with Mounties on the weekend asking for the public’s help in providing information on the van’s travels in and around Kamloops. Police have not, however, said if the van is, in fact, the vehicle in which the deceased person was found.

“We are asking the public for assistance in helping us establish the vehicle’s movements during this past week,” Staff Sgt. Todd Wiebe said in a release. “Please have a look at the van and its licence plate. If you think you saw it or if you have dash-cam or surveillance footage capturing it, please contact police as soon as possible.”

Police are looking for information on the van’s travels in Kamloops and surrounding rural areas and communities, including Barriere, Clearwater, Valemount, Savana, Cache Creek and other spots along those corridors.

According to neighbours, the van did not belong to the people who live in the house where it was parked and said it had been parked there for just a few days.

An elderly couple believed to be in their 80s and their grandson, in his late 20s are said to live at the residence, according to neighbours.

Residents — some of whom said they had lived in the area for decades — described the neighbourhood as a quiet one, with little property crime or signs of drug dealing. They said there wasn’t a lot of activity, nor comings and goings from the house in question, and noted the grandson would often ago for walks with his grandparents.