The man accused of first-degree murder in the death of Belgian tourist Amelie Sakkalis had his second court appearance Friday.
Sean McKenzie, 27, of Oliver, B.C. appeared in provincial court in Chilliwack via video link. At the brief court appearance on Oct. 19, defence and Crown agreed to have a two-week preliminary inquiry scheduled.
With a full head of brown hair and a fuller beard than photos shared by police at the time of his charge, McKenzie appeared wearing standard issue orange prison clothing.
The courtroom was nearly empty as McKenzie made his brief appearance. It was a very different scene in the courtroom from his first appearance Sept. 19, when more than a dozen friends and family were present.
McKenzie is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Amelie Christelle Sakkalis’, whose body was found Aug. 22 in a rural area along Highway 1 around 10 kilometres north of Boston Bar.
McKenzie was initially arrested at the crime scene Aug. 22, but was let go after his arrest as police did not have enough evidence to detain him. A white Chevrolet Astro van found at the scene belonged to McKenzie.
Investigators with the RCMP’s Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) believe McKenzie picked Sakkalis up somewhere between Penticton and where her body was found.
“He was not known to police and he does not have a criminal record,” said Cpl. Frank Jang with IHIT. “He travels extensively through the province…for work.”
Sakkalis was a 28-year-old Belgian national who had been traveling through Canada for a few weeks before her death.
Police are still seeking information from anyone who may have seen McKenzie with Sakkalis on Aug. 22.
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