Cause not determined in death of hitchhiker

Stettler RCMP are waiting for a medical examiner’s report to determine the cause of death of a 50-year-old female hitchhiker found dead in the sleeper compartment of a truck hauling hogs east of Red Deer.

Stettler RCMP are waiting for a medical examiner’s report to determine the cause of death of a 50-year-old female hitchhiker found dead in the sleeper compartment of a truck hauling hogs east of Red Deer.

On July 12, police responded to a call around 9:30 a.m. from the driver of the livestock truck on Hwy 12, across from the John Deere Dealership, in Stettler.

Sgt. Duncan Babchuk said the truck driver had picked up the Red Deer woman who was thumbing a ride near Lacombe earlier that day. He called 911 when he opened the sleeper doors and found his passenger was dead. The body was sent to the Calgary coroner’s office for an autopsy. The cause of death was inconclusive.

“It’s not a mystery who she was with,” said Babchuk. “It’s not a whodunit. There’s no mystery there. We know who she was last with. We just don’t know why she died.”

The driver was questioned and later released. His truck was seized for examination.

Investigators from the RCMP Major Crime Unit and Red Deer Forensic Identification Unit were called in to assist with the investigation. The pigs, hot from high temperatures, were cooled with hoses by fire crews from the Stettler Regional Fire Department. The pigs were later turned over to another driver.

“Until we can determine the cause, there’s nothing else we can do right now,” he said.

The name of the deceased was not released.

crhyno@bprda.wpengine.com

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