It’s been nearly a month since homicide detectives concluded their search of Naomi Onotera’s Langley City home and there has been little information shared by police about the investigation into the missing woman, causing some locals on social media to raise questions about whether public safety is in question.
The 40-year-old mother was last seen leaving her residence on Aug. 28, nearly two months ago. Langley RCMP issued a missing person alert for the elementary school teacher-librarian two days later. On Sept. 15 the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) announced they were called in to assist the Langley RCMP Serious Crime Section with the investigation, days after local Mounties had put police tape around the home.
When the search began, IHIT cautioned that the “presence of officers, security and crime scene tape is not an indication of criminality of anyone living in the residence.”
For roughly 10 days, investigators had Onotera’s Langley City property cordoned off, the home situated on the corner of 200th Street and 50th Avenue remained behind police tape as forensic investigators and officers were seen focusing their efforts on the yard, cutting back brush and digging.
Officers can be seen outside Naomi Onotera’s home this morning. RCMP have had the Langley City home behind police tape for at least two days. They confirmed a search of the residence was to take place Tues/Wed. The missing #LangleyBC woman was last seen leaving her home Aug. 28. pic.twitter.com/qJay9hN2CL
— Joti Grewal (@JotiGrewal_) September 15, 2021
Behind the foliage that covered much of the corner property, specs of blue could be seen behind the chain-link fence and greenery, where investigators had constructed a blue tent.
A view from 200th Street showed an officer on the balcony of the home, where more of the blue coloured covering, erected by forensic detectives was visible, and the unusual sight of an officer climbing a ladder mounted on a large tree in the yard.
Then on the evening of Sept. 25 police concluded their search. Since then there have been no updates from IHIT, and the lack of information has sparked concern from locals in the Nickomekl neighbourhood about whether there is reason to believe the safety of the community is in jeopardy.
One local woman on social media called it “odd” IHIT has not spoken further about the investigation, adding she stopped walking on local trails since Onotera went missing.
IHIT investigating disappearance of Naomi Onoterahttps://t.co/gSMn38I0xS pic.twitter.com/hsobKBnq0g
— IHIT (@HomicideTeam) September 15, 2021
Langley Advance Times contacted IHIT for an update on the investigation. They only confirmed that it was “ongoing and active,” and said “no further updates” were available.
However, they called it “concerning” members of the community feel their safety is at risk.
“Public safety is one of our top priorities,” said Sgt. David Lee, media relations officer with IHIT.
Lee advised those enjoying the trails to always let people known where they are going and have a means of communicating with loved ones, as well as adequate safety gear, such as lighting and a whistle.
“Should anyone have any concerns about areas in Langley, they should reach out to the Langley RCMP Detachment,” Lee continued. “Officers there have area specific knowledge, a local crime prevention plan, and other resources available to the public.”
Holly Largy, spokesperson for the Langley RCMP, said the local detachment “doesn’t have any immediate public safety concerns in the Nicomekl area.”
“People walking the trails should enjoy their excursions as they normally would,” she said. “But as always, remain aware of your surroundings and report any suspicious activity.”
Anyone with information about Onotera’s disappearance is asked to contact IHIT at
Onotera is described as 5’9” tall, weighting 150 pounds, with long brown hair and brown eyes.
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