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UPDATE: Body found during search for missing Okanagan woman Tatjana Stefanski

(UPDATE: April 15 @ 3:45 pm) - It appears as though the search for Tatjana Stefanski has come to a tragic end.

A release from the BC RCMP says that North Okanagan RCMP found the body of a woman in a rural location on Sunday while investigating the alleged abduction of Stefanski from Lumby.

"A male believed to be involved in this death was arrested in the general vicinity," the release explained.

As is often the RCMP's modus operandi with sensitive cases like this, the release failed to confirm whether the deceased woman is Stefanski or the suspect is her ex-husband Vitali Steffen.

It did, however, say that the suspect has been released from police custody with a series of mandatory conditions to abide by.

It also clarified that the Southeast District Major Crime Unit (SDMCU) has assumed conduct of the investigation and believes that the woman's death is the result of foul play.

“At this juncture, investigators believe that this incident is isolated and that no threat to the public exists," explained S/Sgt. Jason Smart.

Stefanski's boyfriend, Jason Gaudreault had taken to social media following her disappearance to accuse Steffen of abducting the 44-year-old woman on Saturday morning.

Her daughter, Selina Stefanski also took to social media to accuse Steffen of kidnapping her mother and said he was "extremely unstable and unpredictable."

As investigators begin to probe this apparent homicide, they are urging any members of the public with footage from certain areas between Saturday and Sunday morning to contact the SDMCU tip line at 1-877-987-8477.

Those areas include:

  • Along Hwy 6 to the west of Lumby
  • Within the village of Lumby
  • North along Shuswap Avenue or Lumby-Mabel Lake Road
  • Up the east side of Mable Lake

When reached by NowMedia requesting official confirmation on the identities of the victim and man arrested, S/Sgt. Kris Clark reiterated that the RCMP is unwilling to confirm those details at this time.

(UPDATE: April 15 @ 2:20 pm) - Loved ones of an Okanagan woman who was reported missing over the weekend say there is a criminal nature to her disappearance.

Jason Gaudreault alleges that his girlfriend Tatjana Stefanski, 44, was "pushed into" a black Audi A6 by her ex-husband around 8:15 am on Saturday.

<who>Photo Credit: Jason Gaudreault</who>Tatjana Stefanski

Gaudreault added that it happened in the driveway of 4050 Hwy 6, just west of Lumby, and the vehicle took off toward the village.

A brief RCMP release about Stefanski's disappearance, which spelled her name incorrectly as "Tatiana," had said that she departed unexpectedly with the ex-husband, Vitali Steffen.

A social media post from Gaudreault notes that it's believed Stefanski was wearing a blue jacket, grey sweatpants and rubber boots when she was allegedly abducted.

<who>Photo Credit: Jason Gaudreault</who>What Jason believes Tatjana was wearing when she was allegedly abducted.

Another post from Stefanski's daughter, Selina, notes that her mother is 5'6" with blonde highlights and brown eyes, while Steffen is 6'1" with brown hair and greyish blue eyes.

She adds that Steffen's vehicle was located, but he and Stefanski have not been found.

"Do not approach Vitali, as he is extremely unstable and unpredictable," she warned.

<who>Photo Credit: Selina Stefanski</who>The post from Tatjana Stefanski's daughter.

(Original story: April 14 @ 9 am) - Police in Lumby are asking for the public’s assistance in locating a woman who unexpectedly departed with her ex-husband on Saturday.

Tatiana Stefanski was last seen around 8:05 am in Lumby on April 13, 2024, speaking to her ex-husband Vitali Steffen.

The 44-year-old then unexpectedly departed with Steffen in his black Audi A6, British Columbia licence plate GK188L.

Police are asking anyone who may have seen the vehicle or knows where either individual is to call 9-1-1.

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