The 2016 death of a Lake Country woman has been upgraded from tragic lake accident to suspected murder, say local Mounties.
The Southeast District Major Crime Unit revealed late Saturday that the investigation into the June 26, 2016 death of Arlene Susan Westervelt, 56, resulted in the arrest of her husband, Bert, 63.
In the days that followed her death, RCMP said that Arlene “was canoeing with a family member late on the afternoon of June 26, 2016, when their canoe capsized. The family member was rescued by a passing boater, but (Arlene) could not be found.”
Despite an extensive search of Okanagan Lake by local fire and rescue personnel that evening, Arlene’s body wasn’t recovered until the following day. She was found in 35 feet of water, approximately 100 feet from the shore, by trained divers of the RCMP Underwater Recovery Team.
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After a lengthy police investigation Lambertus (Bert) Westervelt was formally charged with second degree murder for the alleged homicide death of his wife.
“Bert Westervelt was taken into police custody without incident on Friday afternoon in Lake Country,” said RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey of the Kelowna Regional Detachment, in a press release “RCMP Southeast District Major Crime investigators are very grateful for the public’s assistance throughout the course of this investigation.”
Bert Westervelt has since been remanded into custody and is expected to appear in Court next on Monday April 8 in Kelowna.
Anyone with additional information is asked to contact the Southeast District Major Crime Unit at the dedicated tip line 1-877-987-8477.
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