File Number: 104200088
Surrey, British Columbia: On January 6, 1995, Melanie Carpenter, a 23-year-old woman from Surrey, had received suspicious phone calls from a man feigning interest in a business deal. Later that day, Carpenter was abducted from where she was working alone at a tanning salon in the Fleetwood town centre of Surrey. Carpenter's corpse was found shortly afterwards along an isolated road in a First Nations reserve near Hope, a rural town in British Columbia's Fraser Canyon, 45 kilometers (28 mi) northeast of Chilliwack. Her body had been abandoned in a crevice and concealed by a white blanket.
According to her father, Carpenter was afraid of being abducted. He said he advised her not to put up a struggle if attacked by a man with a weapon, that it was better not to resist and to stay alive. Since her abduction, though, he has had cause to reconsider. "I wish," he said, "I had told her to fight with everything she's got."
The afternoon that Carpenter went missing, a bank security camera recorded a 37-year-old man, Fernand Auger, making a $300 withdrawal using Carpenter's debit card, and the footage was shown on national TV the next day. Auger was a drifter from Ontario, frequently working as a waiter in restaurants, and had been a resident of Calgary, Alberta, until moving to British Columbia days before the murder. In August 1994, Auger had been released from prison in Bowden, Alberta, where he had served a 16-month sentence for armed robbery, and was on parole at the time. Auger quickly became the number one suspect in the abduction, and a warrant was issued for his arrest.
On January 15, 1995 Auger was found dead at a vacant home in High River, Alberta, 55 kilometers (34 mi) south of Calgary, by a real estate agent during a viewing with a client. Auger had committed suicide in a garage on the property by inhaling carbon monoxide fumes from the engine of his car, a Hyundai Excel rented from Calgary.