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UPDATE: Merritt homicide victim identified

(UPDATE: Sept. 16 @ 11:05 am) - Investigators have identified the body that was found near Nicola Lake on Tuesday morning.

According to police, the victim is 51-year-old Dennis Michael Walters of Merritt and his death, which was previously characterized as suspicious, has now been confirmed as a homicide.

S/Sgt. Janelle Shoihet says the RCMP is releasing Walters' identity in hopes that it can help move the investigation forward.

"We are hopeful that in doing so, we can help timeline the events leading up to his death," Shoihet explained.

"We are asking anyone who has knowledge of Dennis’ whereabouts on Monday until the discovery of his body on Tuesday, or has any other information which may assist in the investigation, to call us."

Anyone with information about Walters' death can call the Southeast District Major Crime Unit tipline at 1-877-987-8477.

(Original story: Sept. 15 @ 9:50 am) - The Southeast District Major Crime Unit (SED MCU) has been called in to assist the Merritt RCMP following the discovery of a body in rural Merritt.

Officers were called to the location near Nicola Lake shortly before 8 am on Tuesday and found the body when they arrived.

The RCMP believes that the death is suspicious.

“Investigators from the SED MCU have been called in to take conduct of the investigation, with assistance from our Merritt RCMP officers,” explained Staff Sgt. Steph Drouin.

“Our priority at this time is to identify the dead person and notify their next of kin.”

The RCMP Forensic Identification Section is also providing assistance to the investigation.

Anyone with information relating to this person’s untimely death is urged to contact the SED MCU tipline by calling 1-877-987-8477.

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