Discovery of Ron Carlow's body lends family closure

Ron Carlow - courtesy family
Ron Carlow
— image credit: courtesy family

Ron Carlow is finally coming home.

His cremated remains are being brought back to Cowichan, his grieving sister Loretta Copley said, lending some closure to seven long years of questions.

Carlow's body was found on a farm near Osoyoos in April after years of investigation by special police forces. It was eventually positively identified through metal implanted during a hip replacement, Copley said, and the family was notified in July.

"Seven years was a long time for our family; seven Christmases," she said. "Ron was an amazing kid. He loved any sport: wake boarding, skiing, squash, and hockey. He had a great personality. He was a fabulous brother and uncle. He was just a kind soul."

Carlow, who attended Bench, Bonner, and Cowichan High schools, was 38 when he disappeared from Vancouver in June 2007. The police are still actively investigating the case, but Copley believes he was abducted.

The Globe and Mail reported a sinister twist to the case in May of 2011. In the course of the Carlow investigation, police uncovered a cache of 32 guns, plus ammo and other weapons, used to guard an alleged underground bunker containing a drug lab.

RCMP investigation into that complex case continues, a Vancouver Police Department spokesman told the Leader on Tuesday, deferring further comment to the RCMP. Osoyoos RCMP were unavailable for comment by press time.

Coroner Barb McLintock said the B.C. Coroner's Office's investigation into Carlow's death — listed as potentially suspicious — also continues, while his body was identified then released to his family.

Copley described her brother as smart, and the closure as bittersweet.

"For me and my sister, it's reliving the whole thing again," she said of sibling, Pamela Thomson. "The police don't know what happened. Did Ron meet the wrong people? Perhaps."

Still, closure for Copley and her family started the instant the phone rang July 4, and she checked caller ID.

"'I knew as soon as I saw 'unknown caller' that it was the VPD," she said of dealing closely for so long with VPD officers handling her younger brother's case. "I went to Vancouver to meet with the RCMP the next week; it was surreal."

"At least now my brother's being cremated, and we can bring him home — some families don't get that. It's horrible," Copley said.


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