A Carmacks RCMP officer searches the Yukon River by boat for Wilfred Charlie on June 26. (Handout/RCMP)

UPDATED: Police say man found in Yukon River near Fort Selkirk was murdered

Wilfred ‘Dickie’ Charlie, 57, was last seen near Carmacks June 19

Yukon RCMP say they’re investigating the death of Carmacks man as murder.

Police said July 10 Wilfred “Dickie” Charlie, 57, was last seen near his Carmacks home June 19, when, police believe, he fell into the river.

The B.C. Coroners Service conducted an autopsy in Vancouver July 7.

“Findings from the autopsy have resulted in Mr. Charlie’s death being deemed a homicide,” RCMP said in a news release July 10.

Charlie’s family and Carmacks residents had been looking for Charlie since he went missing, police said, while RCMP officers conducted searches by plane and boat.

The killing is the fifth murder in the territory since April.

Earlier this month, police charged Edward James Penner, 20, with first-degree murder in connection with the killing of 25-year-old Adam Cormack in Whitehorse last week.

Students at a learning camp near Fort Selkirk found the body in the Yukon River July 5.

Yukon RCMP confirmed a man’s body was spotted in the water around noon.

The eight students are part of a new field school program out of Yukon College’s Pelly Crossing campus that started June 12.

College spokesperson Michael Vernon said the program was supposed to wrap up July 7. Instead it ended two days early after the body was found.

“Some students and staff departed yesterday afternoon and the remaining staff and students are wrapping up the camp and departing today,” Vernon said July 6.

Vernon said “trauma services” from Pelly, Carmacks and the Yukon government were going to be available for the community and the students. He didn’t have any details regarding what specific services were being offered.

“We dispatched a support person yesterday evening and they’re in Pelly Crossing and Fort Selkirk today primarily to support staff and faculty at the camp but also to check in to see if their are further supports we can provide to the students.”

The field school included a moose hunt, wilderness first aid and GPS and traditional navigation. Students were also building a raft to travel from Fort Selkirk to Minto Landing.

The project is a collaboration between the college and Selkirk First Nation.

Police ask anyone with information about the case to contact their local RCMP detachment or to contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.crimestoppersyukon.ca.

Contact Ashley Joannou at ashleyj@yukon-news.com

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