RCMP announce charges in fatal Aberdeen hit-and-run

By James Peters
March 6, 2017 - 11:30am Updated: March 6, 2017 - 5:00pm

KAMLOOPS — It was an incident that shook the city, a hit and run that killed a teenage girl and kicked off a lengthy investigation by RCMP. 

The person responsible never came forward, leaving the community and the victim's family with so many unanswered questions. 

On Friday, a suspect was finally arrested and charged in the incident that killed 16-year old Jennifer Gatey last November as she waited for the bus on Pacific Way. She died just one day before her 17th birthday. 

WATCH: Full report by Jill Sperling

"We would like to know the circumstances, regardless of what they are, how our wonderful daughter died that night and we're hopeful that we'll find out through this process, and that we can get to the point of closure, that we can try and get on with our lives," said Jennifer's father Cameron Gatey. 

RCMP announced the arrest of 41-year-old Kamloops resident Jason Charles Gourlay on Monday. 

Gourlay has been charged with Failure to Stop at the Scene of an Accident, and Possession of a Controlled Substance. Heroin was found during the excution of a search warrant on Gourlay's property three days after Jennifer Gatey's death. 

It was at that time RCMP also began investigating the suspect's Jeep. 

"There was significant physical evidence seized linking the Jeep to this crime," said Supt. Brad Mueller of the Kamloops RCMP. 

Mueller says the forensic investigation of the Jeep took weeks to complete. 

"I was prepared to accept criticism for the length of time that it took, knowing that we would not compromise the investigation because of gossip, some negative comments of social media, and a select few of the public's perception on how quickly an arrest should be made, or the pace in which this investigation was moving," Mueller said. 

The investigation relied heavily on tips from the public. In addition to aiding the RCMP, the community as been very supportive of the Gateys. 

"I shouldn't be surprised, but I am somewhat, just how much the whole of the community has been impacted by this, and we've felt that," said Cameron Gatey. "People have reached out to us in so many ways to let us know that they care."

Gourlay is scheduled to appear in Kamloops Provincial Court on Tuesday. Cameron Gatey says he's not planning to attend court proceedings, but adds an apology  would help his family and the community begin to heal.

EXTENDED VIDEO: Cameron Gatey speaks with reporter Jill Sperling following today's announcement

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