Family and police have confirmed that a man romantically involved with April Parisian, who has been missing for over a month, died of what police believe to be a self-inflicted wound inside a vehicle belonging to her.
Paris Margesson was the partner and fiancé of April Parisian. The two lived in the Fraser Canyon community of Spuzzum, before Parisian was reported missing first by Margesson and then by family in early April.
According to Margesson’s Facebook page, the two were engaged Oct. 1, 2018 and while family members have said the two were very much in love, there appeared to be a darker side to their relationship.
The RCMP’s Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT), who are now leading the investigation, say they are treating Parisian’s disappearance as a ‘suspicious missing persons investigation,’ spokesperson Sgt. Frank Jang stated via email. On April 21, five days after police located Parisian’s truck and camper and a man inside, IHIT stated they believed she “may have met with foul play.”
It was on April 16 that police located Parisian’s vehicle on Vye Road between Chilliwack and Abbotsford with a man inside. After attempting to speak with him, police stated they found him with what was believed to be a “self-inflicted wound.” Police say despite medical help from paramedics, the man died.
Jang also confirmed the man who died was Margesson.
Parisian’s cousin Tammy Francis, who has been the main contact with the Hope Standard since her cousin’s disappearance, said looking back there were things that were off in their relationship.
“Now that she’s gone, it’s just a big if. What if? So many ifs. Should I have, shouldn’t I have?,” Francis said. “Little things now, that you notice, that you didn’t really pay attention to…people should have paid more attention.”
Francis said she witnessed a fight between the two at the funeral of a family member in 2019. Francis said she saw Parisian bleeding from a head wound and heard her yelling at Margesson that he had hit her with a belt. On another occasion, family wondered where Parisian had gotten a wound to her eye.
Francis was also told about Parisian’s partner constantly being present when she met with a family member, which also raised concerns.
No domestic charges are apparent on Margesson’s criminal record, which dates back to 1998. Alongside motor vehicle offences and administration of justice charges, such as breach of probation, he has faced charges including uttering threats to cause bodily harm and assault.
Margesson was charged in relation to a November 2010 incident in Castlegar, with two counts of uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm and one count of causing a disturbance. He pleaded guilty in provincial court in Surrey on Jan. 6, 2012 to the disturbance charge and was sentenced to six months probation.
More recently, Margesson was charged with two counts of assault and one count of uttering threats to cause bodily harm. The offences allegedly happened in Spuzzum on August 16, 2019. A trial is still scheduled for July 3, 2020 at the Chilliwack Law Courts on these charges.
‘We’re out here till we find her’
Family are continuing to fundraise and search for their loved one, even though Francis has said she feels like they are now looking for the body of her cousin.
Searches have already taken place in the Spuzzum area, as well as the Silver Skagit and Chilliwack. This past Saturday, over 50 gathered outside the Sasquatch Inn in Harrison Mills to search areas around Harrison and Sasquatch Provincial Park. The focus of these searches is areas where Parisian, a lover of the outdoors, was known to frequent or had taken photos and posted to social media.
A bottle drive in Hope and Abbotsford was hard work Francis said, but the family gathered what she estimates is over $1,000. This will go to gas cards for volunteers participating in future searches.
Money is a factor as searches run up and down highways from Hope to the Fraser Valley and deep into local forest service roads. The family are collecting donations to help fund their search efforts via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We’re out here until we find her,” said Parisian’s aunt, Carmel Crowchild.
Parisian is described by police as an Indigenous female with blonde hair and blue eyes, 170 centimetres (5 feet 7 inches) tall, weighing 127 kilograms (280 pounds.)
She is known to shop in Chilliwack and is a well-known face around Hope, but is generally a homebody at her home in Spuzzum.
Anyone with information should call the IHIT information line at 1-877-551-4448, or by email at email@example.com. Should you wish to remain anonymous, please contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
– with files from Paul Henderson