Police appeal for answers in year-old Colquitz River Park death investigation

Saanich PD confirm 26-year-old Shannon Rogers died from non-prescription drug overdose

Shannon Rogers was found dead in Colquitz River Park one year ago. Saanich police on Tuesday said the 26-year-old died of a non-prescription drug overdose

Fewer questions surrounding the death of Shannon Rogers remain, after Saanich police revealed the 26-year-old overdosed on a lethal amount of non-prescription drugs.

The announcement came today (Tuesday), one year after Rogers’ body was found decomposing in a heavily wooded area of Colquitz River Park behind Tillicum Centre.

“She was suffering the ongoing cumulative effects of drug use,” said Sgt. Dean Jantzen, though he wouldn’t say what drugs specifically. “The consensus of all investigators was she did not die at the hands of another person.”

It took months for Saanich investigators to receive reports from the RCMP toxicology lab, but Jantzen said the conclusion is that it was an accidental death.

Rogers, a sex-trade worker, was last seen June 3, 2011, but wasn’t reported missing until June 10. Her body was found two days later.

Jantzen wouldn’t say whether the autopsy determined when she died, or if she died where her body was found. “That aspect (of the investigation) is the part that’s left undone.”

Saanich police are consulting an outdoor forensic crime scene specialist with the RCMP to solve the unanswered questions.

Jantzen wouldn’t comment further on what the specialist would be looking into, or what those questions were, but police have maintained since early in the investigation that they were trying to figure out why she was in the park in the first place.

Colquitz River Park is known as an area where homeless people set up temporary camps, but Jantzen said there was no evidence indicating Rogers was living there.

Police are using the one-year anniversary of her death to appeal for more information.

“Investigators are still looking for information on the days and hours leading up to her death, and would like for people to come forward,” Jantzen said. “If, for whatever reason, your personal circumstances at the time prohibited you from speaking to police, detectives are asking you to reconsider now.”

Police are asking anyone with information to call a new Shannon Rogers tip line at 250-475-4356.

kslavin@saanichnews.com