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RCMP apologize for cat filter used on live stream of news conference

Last Updated Jul 20, 2019 at 10:11 am PDT

FILE - The RCMP logo is seen outside Royal Canadian Mounted Police "E" Division Headquarters, in Surrey, B.C., on Friday April 13, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

E. Division is saying sorry after an unfortunate incident during a live RCMP news conference

A cat filter was superimposed on their spokesperson as she made a public appeal for information on a double homicide

Spokesperson say this was an internal error and the RCMP fixed it as soon as it could

SURREY (NEWS 1130) – “E” Division is apologizing after an unfortunate incident during a live news conference where the RCMP were updating reporters on a double homicide that happened in northern B.C. earlier this week.

During a live stream of their news conference, a cat filter was superimposed on their spokesperson, Sergeant Janelle Shoihet, as she made a public appeal for information about the deaths of a man and woman whose bodies were found on the Alaska Highway.

A screenshot of the live stream and the cat filter was quickly shared on Twitter, spurring lot more shares.

Shoihet says this was an internal error and the RCMP fixed it as soon as it could.

“We do apologize that our back up social media feed had both audio and video filter challenges when it was started. We noticed the issues and cancelled the live feed. We have since provided a better quality copy of the video statement which is available along with the text and images on our website. Our effort to be available via a social media platform did have technological challenges which is a risk that can happen. It is unfortunate, but was by no means intentional. We are hopeful that moving forward the focus on this incident can be on our efforts to seek public assistance,” reads a statement sent to NEWS 1130.

As for the investigation, Shoihet says anyone who saw the the blue 1986 Chevrolet van, which belongs to either Lucas Fowler of the Sydney area in Australia or his girlfriend Chynna Deese of Charlotte, North Carolina, should call them.

Their bodies were discovered about 20 kilometres south of Liard Hot Springs around the B.C. boundary with Yukon and the area isn’t known for any similar incidents.

Members of Fowler’s family are on their way to Canada to recover his body. There are several Australian media outlets reporting Fowler is the son of the chief inspector of the South Wales Police Department. A statement on the South Wales Police Department website says “to lose someone so young and vibrant, who was travelling the world and just enjoying life to the full, is devastating.”

A statement posted by Deese’s sibling, Kennedy, says her family in North Carolina is “in shock and heartbroken.”

-With files from the Canadian Press