Michael Drynock (left) and Jayson Gilbert have been charged with first degree murder in the death of Branton Regner. (RCMP handout/Facebook photos)

Michael Drynock (left) and Jayson Gilbert have been charged with first degree murder in the death of Branton Regner. (RCMP handout/Facebook photos)

Murder charges laid after body pulled from Fraser River ID’ed as missing man

Accused also face one count each of attempted murder in connection with Rudy Johnson Bridge incident

New charges of first degree murder have been levied against two Williams Lake area men after autopsy results positively identified a body discovered in the Fraser River last month west of the city.

Jayson Gilbert and Michael Drynock, previously charged with two counts each of attempted murder and kidnapping in connection with an incident at the Rudy Johnson Bridge, are now also charged with the murder of Branton Regner, 34.

Williams Lake RCMP and the North District Major Crime Unit, working with the BC Coroners Service, made the announcement Thursday, confirming what many suspected following the discovery near the Sheep Creek Bridge on Tuesday Aug. 27, 2019, west of Williams Lake and about 40 kilometres downstream of the Rudy Johnson Bridge.

Read more: RCMP recover body from Fraser River near Sheep Creek Bridge

Regner was first reported missing following an incident on the Rudy Johnson Bridge on Friday, Aug. 9 2019.

On Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019 the BC Prosecution Services formally charged Gilbert and Drynock with the first degree murder of Branton Regner, said Insp. Jeff Pelley, OIC Williams Lake RCMP detachment, who along with teams of officers has been working round the clock on the Rudy Johnson Bridge case as well as the homicide of Richard ‘Savage’ Duncan who was shot in his driveway in Williams Lake Aug. 6 and died in hospital.

No one has been charged in the homicide of Duncan, 43, at this time, however, Duncan’s death and the Rudy Johnson Bridge incident are believed to be connected.

“The rapid progress of the arrests and multiple charges involving these two accused are a direct result of the collaborative investigative effort between Williams Lake RCMP and the North District Major Crime,” Insp. Pelley said. “These investigations are ongoing and continue to be a priority within our community.”

Pelley said the investigations into the murder of Regner, as well as the murder of Duncan on Aug. 6, are ongoing. If anyone has information on either investigation, please contact the Williams Lake RCMP at 250-392-6211 or Crime Stoppers at 1 800-222-8477.

Gilbert and Drynock remain in custody and are scheduled to make their next court appearances on Sept. 25 in Williams Lake Provincial Court. Both face one count each of attempted murder and kidnapping. Publication bans were imposed on both cases shortly after they made their first court appearances.

Read more: Links probable between homicide, missing persons investigation in Williams Lake



news@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

An autopsy has positively identified last month’s body discovered in the Fraser River as Branton Regner. Photo submitted

An autopsy has positively identified last month’s body discovered in the Fraser River as Branton Regner. Photo submitted

Just Posted

Various Victoria locations were hit with a slew of anti-bylaw graffiti Wednesday. This image has been altered to cover up profane language. (Submitted photo)
PHOTOS: Victoria hit with slew of anti-bylaw graffiti

Downtown businesses, bylaw office and Ministry of Finance vandalized

A pedestrian pushing a child in a stroller was struck by a driver while crossing a Highway 1 off-ramp at Burnside Road West on Feb. 24. (Google Streetview)
Pedestrian with child in stroller struck by driver in Saanich crosswalk

Incident occurred in crosswalk in Highway 1 off-ramp at Burnside Road West

David Wighton is a Goldstream Gazette 2021 Local Hero as the winner of the Coaches Award. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Life-changing lessons shared after 55-year coaching career

David Wighton is the 2021 recipient of the Local Hero Coaches Award

West Shore RCMP headquarters in Langford. (Black Press Media file photo)
West Shore RCMP arrests two suspects in connection to View Royal arson

Investigators determined the fire was deliberately set, targeted

Visitors to Island View Beach Regional Park in Central Saanich could end up paying for parking. (Black Press Media File)
Proposed parking fees for Island View Beach under fire

Central Saanich councillor says timing could not be worse

B.C. health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and health minister Adrian Dix wore pink shirts to showcase this year’s motto: “Lift each other up.” (Twitter/PinkShirtDay)
PHOTOS: B.C. celebs take a stand against bullying on Pink Shirt Day

‘We need to let young people know they are not alone and they can reach out to others for help’

Justin Morissette is still recovering from the injuries sustained in the altercation. He is not yet able to walk without assistance. (Justin Morissette, Twitter)
B.C. man suing city and police over violent altercation with anti-LGBTQ preacher

Justin Morissette argues police knew the threat the preacher posed, and failed to keep the peace

Mowi Canada West salmon farm in B.C. waters. Conservative MPs have backed an industry call for further discussions on the timeline for closing Discovery Island farms. (Photo supplied by Mowi Canada)
Conservative MPs back B.C. salmon farmers’ call for transparent discussions

Farm owners requested consultations, more time to leave Discovery Islands

Jack Barnes, who was Cowichan Valley Capitals property from May 2020 until last week, scores a goal for the Penticton Vees during the 2019-20 BCHL season. (Brennan Phillips/Black Press)
COVID-crunched BCHL facing trade deadline dilemma with its 20-year-olds

Hard decisions loom when BCHL may or may not resume play

A Nanaimo RCMP vehicle in the Woodgrove Centre parking lot. (News Bulletin file photo)
Woman groped by stranger in mall parking lot in Nanaimo

Incident happened near bus loop Saturday, Feb. 20, at about 4:45 p.m.

A 19-year-old man is in police custody following a recent violent robbery and assault in Comox . (File photo)
Arrest made in violent robbery and assault of Comox gas station employee

19-year-old man in police custody after incident where woman was putting things in her car

COVID cases in the Bella Coola Valley have dropped to just four active cases (file photo)
Expanding social circles fuelling North Island COVID-19 spike

Comox Valley COVID spike the result of ‘a series of multiple social gatherings’

Average response times for critical “purple” and “red” calls were between nine and 10 minutes Feb. 19 in Metro Vancouver, with only less critical “yellow” calls receiving an average response time of 45 minutes. The longer than usual delay was due to a combination of factors, BC Emergency Health Services said. (APBC image)
After a night of one-hour waits for ambulances, union goes public with concerns

B.C. Ambulance Service says high-priority calls were still 10 minutes or less

NorKam secondary student Karis Wilson in the outfit that got her sent home from school on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. (Contributed to Kamloops This Week)
B.C. teen in turtleneck, lace-edged dress sent home from school for ‘inappropriate’ outfit

NorKam secondary student Karis Wilson was told the lace on the garment made it look like a slip dress

Most Read