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‘It just seemed strange’: Trina Hunt’s family says text messages raise questions about her final days

It was a cold morning on March 29 when human remains were discovered south of Silver Creek in Hope, B.C.

“My heart just dropped and we were just on edge all week waiting for information,” said Stephanie Ibbott, the cousin-in-law of Trina Hunt, a 48-year-old Port Moody woman who was last seen on Jan. 18.

Another four weeks passed before Ibbott and other family members, including husband Iain Hunt, were notified by police that the remains were Trina’s.

Human remains found in Hope, B.C. identified as Trina Hunt – May 1, 2021

“It was just anger like I’ve never felt before,” she said, clutching the hand of her husband Colin Ibbott. “There was no love left in my heart that day.”

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Stephanie walked Global News through Trina’s last correspondences and movements.

On Jan. 15, Trina was texting with a good friend from Ontario. They talked about setting up a “virtual cocktail” over the weekend.

On Jan. 16, Trina received a text from a former coworker but there was no reply.

Friends, strangers come to pay respects after missing Port Moody woman found dead – May 3, 2021

On Jan. 17, the same former colleague finally received a response just before 5 p.m.

“Delayed response because I’m trying a ‘digital detox’ this weekend. Haven’t touched the phone all weekend,” read the text.

The following day Trina’s husband Iain reported her missing. According to police, he was the last person to see her at their Port Moody home early that morning before he left for work.

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When Iain returned “the front door was unlocked,” Colin said.

Human remains found in Hope, B.C. identified as Trina Hunt – May 1, 2021

“The alarm was unset. Her keys, wallet, cellphone, car was all there but not her.”

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Hundreds of volunteers launched a search in January, looking for Trina on the trails near her home.

It made no sense that Trina walked away from her life, her cousins say, adding that she was recently retired, and there were no financial, marital, or mental health issues that anyone was aware of.

The “digital detox” text message sent from Trina’s phone back in January seemed odd, according to Stephanie.

Three months since Port Moody woman Trina Hunt vanished – Apr 18, 2021

“I think it’s possible that it wasn’t her,” she said, adding that during a family meeting Trina’s husband Iain tried to explain.

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“So the digital detox came up and it was just said that she had needed a break from COVID and Trump on the news and they decided to take the weekend away from their cellphones.”

Read more: Families of missing, murdered B.C. women connect on Mother’s Day in show of support

“For that to be the precursor to her going missing it just seemed strange, there’s no question,” Colin added.

Stephanie said Iain told the family that he and Trina went to Hope two days before she was reported missing.

Read more: ‘An amazing woman’: Memorial grows outside Trina Hunt’s home following news of homicide

“They would go on long drives with purpose, such as going to the dairy farm, but they went to Hope to revisit a campground they had visited in their 20s,” Stephanie explained.

“The part that makes no sense for me is the drive to Hope on the Saturday without cellphones and then she is found in Hope,” Colin said.

Stephanie said Iain told the family he took a lie detector test and passed.

Family of missing Port Moody woman Trina Hunt makes a statement Monday – Mar 1, 2021

Global News reached out to Iain Hunt but did not receive a response. Police initially said there was no evidence of foul play but it is now a homicide investigation. No charges have been laid.

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On Monday, the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team said there’s no update in the case.

“I know these things take time and I know they can’t share with us every single thing that they got because obviously, that wouldn’t be right,” Colin said. “So I just I have to have faith and trust that they’re doing what they need to do.”

Trina’s cousins are grateful for everyone’s help and support but they’re asking the public to dig deep again — this time for any information about anything suspicious in the Hope area on the weekend of Jan. 16.

Stephanie has one final plea to whoever is responsible.

“The person that did this needs to come forward and they need to put an end to this because they’re not going to escape it,” she said.

“It’s time to put an end to the suffering, the indignity done to Trina. It’s time to come forward and to do the right thing.”

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