Family and friends have identified a Prince George homicide victim as Isabelle Thomas, describing her as a loving and outgoing mother of two who “always had a smile on her face.”
Thomas was the victim of one of two unrelated and, at the time, suspicious deaths that happened in the BC community in mid-July in a 24-hour period, both of which are now being investigated as homicides, helping push the city’s fatal crime rate to the highest level on record.
Thomas’s family identified her as the victim of the second death, which police say resulted from a home invasion on July 18.
A man has been arrested, but police have not announced any charges.
Thomas, who was born and raised in Prince George, had daughters ages six years and six months.
“The girls meant the world to her,” said Leslie Thomas, Isabelle’s mother. “She did everything in her power to make sure they were happy, that they were taken care of.”
Isabelle Thomas was outgoing, loyal and always willing to help a friend, according to her mother.
He had many different interests and loved to learn new things. As a member of the Nadleh Whut’en First Nation, Isabelle Thomas enjoyed learning about their culture and participating in community activities. She took classes in ribbon skirt making and drum making, her mother said.
She said that her daughter was also very frank and direct.
“She told you how she is, and she showed you the same amount of love in return.”
Thomas said his daughter’s children were in the room with her when she died.
“Having her two babies with her while that was happening to her was just unimaginable and so maddening that they had to go through it,” she said.
Thomas said both children are in the care of immediate family now, and the family is raising funds so they can send the older daughter to a specialist in childhood trauma therapy in Vancouver.
“The babies needed their mother,” Thomas said.
Thomas said he received a tremendous amount of support from the community when several hundred people turned out for a memorial service for his daughter last weekend.
Isabelle Thomas is survived by her two daughters, Addelynn and Eleanore, as well as her siblings, Aleynna Pedersen, Anabelle Pedersen, Jeff Pedersen, Dan Pedersen, Wesley Pedersen, Jasmaine Thomas, and Dakota Thomas, and her parents, Kent Pedersen and Leslie Thomas. .
2023 is already the city’s deadliest year
With the death of Isabelle Thomas, the city of Prince George now records the deadliest year in its history, with eight confirmed homicides since January.
That’s more than the previous high set in 2010, when the city recorded seven homicides – and was tagged The most dangerous city in Canada by Maclean’s magazine for the first of three consecutive years, based on the publication’s use of data provided by Statistics Canada.
The same year also saw two additional homicides in rural areas outside of municipal limits.
in a report released Thursday, Statistics Canada found that violent crime in Prince George in 2022 was the highest of any city in BC, with a population of more than 15,000 people. The agency makes the determination using the Crime Severity Index (CSI), based on police-reported violent crime incidents across Canada.
Cpl. Jenn Cooper of the Prince George RCMP said in a statement to Breaking: that the eight homicides in 2023 appear to be targeted and there is no increased risk to the community.
“We are working diligently to identify those responsible for the recent surge in violence and have units throughout the detail focusing their efforts on these and other supporting investigations,” Cooper wrote.
According to the police, five of the homicides this year are related to drug traffickingwith Superintendent Shaun Wright telling Breaking: earlier in the year that there has been competition between different organizations and individuals seeking to control the region.
However, the two victims in the July slayings were not involved in criminal activity at the time of their deaths, Cooper said.
Police struggling with high caseload: report
In a report commissioned and submitted to Prince George’s council last year, a trio of criminologists found that the Prince George RCMP is dealing with more crime than almost any other city in the province, leading to high levels of burnout and an inability to police actually to the community. .
In response, the council approved funding for four additional officers and two civilian support staff at a cost of more than $1 million.
At the provincial level, the city has been designated as one of 12 communities to pilot a project in which police, prosecutors and probation officers will work together to target violent offenders.
Timeline: A Deadly Year
February 4: A woman is found dead at her home on 17th Avenue at Fir Street in the Millar Addition area of the city between midnight and 1 a.m. Police say the death appears to have been directed and connected to the city’s drug trade. .
February 14th: A woman is found dead inside a home in Sunrise Valley Mobile Park between midnight and 1 a.m. A woman is charged with second-degree murder in the death. RCMP says the death appears to be targeted and connected to the city’s drug trade.
7 of March: RCMP is called to a “riot” at Connaught Hill Residences, a high-rise apartment block less than 500 meters from town hall, around 9pm. A man is found dead, and RCMP later charged a man with manslaughter with a firearm. The RCMP also links this death to drug trafficking.
April 1st: A man is found dead at a private residence in the 2200 block of Quince Street just before 8:30 pm RCMP says the death is being treated as a homicide related to the city’s drug trafficking.
April 19th: A man identified as James Archibald Webb is found dead in a rural area approximately 50 miles northeast of Prince George. RCMP says Webb’s death was a targeted killing with links to drug trafficking.
19th of June: RCMP receives a report of a home invasion shortly after 8 p.m. in the 300 block of Nicholson St. South. A man with life-threatening injuries to himself and a woman with “serious but non-life-threatening injuries to her” are taken to the hospital. The man does not survive and the police treat his death as a homicide.
July 17th: A woman is found dead in a residence in the 1500 block of Victoria Street.
July 18: A 22-year-old woman is killed during a home invasion at the Alpine Village townhome complex on Upland Street. Family identifies her as Isabelle Thomas, a 22-year-old mother of two. A man is arrested.