Watson Lake man faces murder charge after human remains found

A Watson Lake man faces charges of second-degree murder and dismembering a body after human remains were found outside of the community Saturday.

A Watson Lake man faces charges of second-degree murder and dismembering a body after human remains were found outside of the community Saturday.

Travis Dennis, 22, appeared in Yukon territorial court Tuesday.

A publication ban prohibits the disclosure of the victim’s identity.

Crown prosecutor Eric Marcoux told the News Tuesday the ban will be lifted in three weeks, in time for the accused’s next scheduled court appearance.

The short time between the discovery of the remains and Dennis’s arrest prompted the ban, he said.

On Tuesday evening Yukon RCMP confirmed the Major Crimes Unit had charged Dennis.

Police are still investigating with the help of RCMP officers from B.C., Police Dog Services and the Watson Lake RCMP detachment.

RCMP held a press conference Monday, only saying “partial” human remains had been found in an industrial area outside Watson Lake.

The remains were discovered around 12:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Police wouldn’t say who discovered the remains or how they were found.

Staff Sgt. Brad Kaeding told reporters the police were withholding some information in case the death turned out to be criminal.

“There are many things we can’t confirm simply because if it turns out to be a major crime, then we do want to make sure the information we get in is not the information that has already been put out,” he said.

Police dog services, search and rescue, and major crimes personnel were sent to Watson Lake.

Yukon’s chief coroner Kirsten Macdonald, who was present at Monday’s press conference, told media an autopsy was scheduled for Wednesday morning.

On top of a forensic pathologist, Yukon Coroner’s Service brought in a forensic anthropologist to construct a biological profile of the victim and analyze any injuries to help determine a cause of death.

“His examination will hopefully provide more information,” she said.

Dennis is scheduled back in court on Aug. 12.

Anybody with information regarding the investigation can contact Watson Lake RCMP at 536–5555.

Contact Pierre Chauvin at pierre.chauvin@yukon-news.com

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