A woman presumed to have perished when a Penticton home caught fire more than a year ago was officially declared dead by a judge Monday, bringing to a close a case that baffled investigators.
Mary Ruth Esta was 92 and lived alone when her Lakeside Road home was devoured in a spectacular blaze on Oct. 11, 2017.
“It is strongly believed by the family of Mary Ruth Esta that she was in the house at the time of the said fire, although her remains were not located after the fire was extinguished, despite extensive and meticulous searching by the RCMP and the fire department,” explains an petition filed in B.C. Supreme Court filed by one of Esta’s children.
Fire Chief Larry Watkinson told the media at the time that he didn’t believe the fire burned hot enough to completely destroy any traces of human remains, and the case was then handed over to police as a missing-person case.
Thanks to Penticton Herald
Two homes totally gone in a fire that erupted about 6:00 pm on Lakeside Rd – just south of Skaha Marina. One house at 3923 Lakeside collapsed and the occupant, a 92 year old woman (Mary Esta) has not yet been found. A family spokesperson is quoted as saying her remains should have been found but both RCMP and Penticton Fire Department say there is no trace of her.