Police rule death in Fort Resolution not suspicious

Police rule death in Fort Resolution not suspicious
Melissa Payne's body was found outside Fort Resolution in a wooded area on May 22.Photo: Jenall McKay Balsillie.

Fort Resolution RCMP have determined no foul play was involved in a young woman’s death after her body was found in a wooded area just outside the community last Wednesday afternoon.

Melissa Payne, 23, of Trout Lake was last seen the evening of May 19 around 6:30 p.m.

Police located her body three days later.

“She was seen in the community with a number of people,” Staff Sgt. Brad Kaeding told The Journal.

Kaeding could not comment on what condition the body was found in.

After a forensic investigation by the “G” Division Major Crimes Unit with assistance from the Fort Resolution, Hay River and Fort Smith detachments, a number of support units and the Office of the Chief Coroner of the Northwest Territories, police determined no foul play was involved in Payne’s death.

The 15 investigators on the case, based on the evidence and information gathered, have turned the matter over to the NWT’s Chief Coroner for further investigation, with assistance from the Major Crimes Unit and Fort Resolution detachment.

The autopsy results and exact cause of death are not being released out of respect for the family.

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