Police say a Mission teen whose body was found Tuesday down a Chilliwack Mountain embankment was murdered.
An Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) spokesperson confirmed Wednesday that they had found a body belonging to Rachel Pernosky, an 18-year-old mother from Mission who had gone missing last weekend.
Pernosky, an 18-year-old mother of a one-year-old boy, had last been seen near her home in Mission just after midnight early Saturday morning. Those searching for her were baffled, since Pernosky has no history of running away and didn’t appear to have reason for it.
“It has been 72 hours since I have last seen or heard from my best friend,” her friend, Cassidy Scott, had posted to Facebook late Monday evening. “I will not stop thinking of you until you are home safe, with me, your family, and your friends. I love you so much.”
Hours before she was last seen, Pernosky had posted photos online of her infant son and tweeted about comical interactions on the streets of Mission.
Sgt. Jennifer Pound of IHIT said Chilliwack police received a call Tuesday from a person who reported seeing a body down a steep embankment off of Old Orchard Road, on Chilliwack Mountain.
After the identity of the body was confirmed, it was removed by Search and Rescue. While an autopsy is still planned to confirm the cause of Pernosky's death, Pound said foul play was definitely involved.
"Due to evidence retrieved thus far it is clear that Rachel was the victim of a homicide," she said in a press release.
Pound said there are no suspects at this time, but investigators have several persons of interest and do not believe the attack was random.
She said Pernosky’s one-year-old son Marco was with his father at the time of her disappearance, adding the baby’s dad is not a suspect at this time.
“Rachel was just 18 years old and a mother of a baby when her life was brutally taken from her. The person(s) who murdered her have left a hole in the lives of those who loved her and child who will be without his Mom.“
Old Orchard Road resident Asai Wu-Brandt said six to 10 police cars descended on the road Tuesday and asked Wu-Brandt if there was anything suspicious she could remember happening overnight last Friday.
Anyone with information about Pernosky's death is asked to call the IHIT tipline at 778-290-5290 or, to to remain anonymous, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.