By Alex Cooper
Revelstoke Times Review
A man wanted in connection with a murder in Saskatchewan and a shooting that left a police officer injured near Golden was found dead near Revelstoke Wednesday morning, the RCMP reports.
Sheldon Kyle Thunderblanket was found dead east of Revelstoke following an overnight manhunt that began near Golden on Tuesday afternoon.
“The RCMP can now confirm that we have located the body of the suspect we were searching for. He was found deceased,” wrote Cpl. Dan Moskaluk, an RCMP spokesperson in a news release. “A positive confirmation of identification and the exact cause of death is now the subject of a full investigation by the BC Coroner Service.”
Thunderblanket was first reported found at around 11:30 a.m. A few hours later, Mayor Mark McKee told several media outlets, including this one, that Thunderblanket was in police custody. At 5 p.m., the RCMP announced he was found dead.
RCMP said they delayed reporting on Thunderblanket’s death “in order to ensure that next of kin notifications had been completed, as well as notifications to all the partner agencies who have a connection or interest in this case.”
Watch a video of the press conference held by Staff-Sgt. Kurt Grabinsky of the Revelstoke RCMP following Tuesday and Wednesday’s events. The article continues after.
The Independent Investigation Office of BC, the province’s independent police watchdog, has been called in to investigate “if there is a connection between the male’s death and the actions of police.”
The IIO says there was a further interaction between Thunderblanket and police near Revelstoke, after which he fled from police.
Marten Youssef, a spokesperson for the IIO, said the watchdog was sending nine investigators to Revelstoke. The investigation could take anywhere from six to 18 months, he said.
Youssef would not provide any information on the incidents that led to Thunderblanket’s death, saying the only information came from RCMP and needed to be independently verified first.