VANCOUVER – A University of British Columbia professor who went missing after performing earlier this week has been found dead.
“The body of a Salt Spring Island woman who has been missing since May 12 was found on May 15,” reads a statement of BC RCMP’s Cpl. Chris Manseau, released shortly after 1pm on Saturday
“Although a full determination has yet to be made, RCMP does not believe that crime was involved in the woman’s sudden death.”
Beloved among her many students, friends and family, Sinikka Elliott was an avid hiker, and RCMP said Friday that her car was found along the road near a popular hike.
“The BC Coroners Service is also investigating to determine how, where, when and in what manner she came to her death,” the RCMP statement read.
More than 100 people contributed to the search for Elliott, RCMP said.
Search and rescue teams from Vancouver and Vancouver Island assisted with the search, and members of the public were asked to search for the trained crew. In a tweet, Comox Valley Search and Rescue describes the efforts as ‘intensive wilderness search’.
Elliott, a mother of two and a associate professor at UBC, among others, studied families and inequality. In a tweet from the fall of 2020, she shared a link to her new research on food insecurity in the US, saying she was ‘glad this piece is out’.
Elliott and her husband found a home on Salt Spring Island and her vehicle was found at Juniper Place Road around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday. She was last seen earlier in the day when she left home to go to work.
Guy Stecklov, professor and head of the university’s sociology department, has a statement following the news that Elliott’s body had been found.
Elliot was hired in 2017, ‘a very engaged colleague at all levels of the department’, ‘especially dedicated to her students in sociology’ and had a deep commitment to social justice and equality for all, ‘he said.
“As head of department, I had the honor of working with Sinikka and, like so many others, earned from her unwavering passion for understanding and tackling long-standing systematic inequalities that dominate society,” he said.
Kerry Greer, a friend and colleague of Elliott’s, spoke to CTV News Vancouver before Elliott’s body was found and described her as a loving person and a strong hiker.
“Sinikka is one of the most reliable, personal people I know, and she’s not someone who would go recklessly for a long hike and not tell anyone where she’s headed,” Greer said.
“It is very unusual and very worrying,” she added.