The mother of Fribjon Bjornson is asking those who know what happened to her son to step forward to help bring to justice those responsible for his death - and to prevent a similar incident from happening in the future.
"The thing is, if somebody can do that, they can do it again," Eileen Bjornson said this week. "They're going to hurt somebody again and they've probably hurt people in the past.
"You don't start there and you don't finish there."
The 28-year-old self-employed log processor and father of two was last seen on Jan. 12, when video footage showed him at a 7-Eleven in Vanderhoof, his hometown. On Feb. 3, RCMP investigators confirmed that human remains found in an abandoned home on the Nak'azdli reserve adjacent to Fort St. James were Bjornson.
Since then, a story has circulated that Bjornson gave a ride to the wrong person and ended up at a house party on the reserve where four or five gang members attacked Bjornson in the home's basement, possibly because he had just cashed a pay cheque worth several thousand dollars.
Bjornson was tortured but his attackers went too far, it's alleged, and he was killed. His body was dismembered and parts were thrown into Stuart Lake, according to the story, but his severed head was left in the house where it was discovered after his blue 1980 Chevrolet pickup truck was found nearby.
Although the story is well known, police have been unable to confirm what happened because no one is willing to talk to RCMP, which Eileen has found frustrating.
"People have come forward to us and then refused to talk to the police," Eileen said.
North District RCMP Cst. Lesley Smith said those who step forward will be protected.
"If they're reluctant because they feel their safety is jeopardized, then we will have a safety plan in place," Smith said.
Nak'azdli Chief Fred Sam said a mistrust of RCMP may also be behind the reluctance but urged those in the know to speak out.
"Either they can come to me or I can direct them to someone so they can be kept confidential," Sam said.
Eileen has heard her son had struggled with a cocaine addiction but believes he was more a victim of his own generosity.
"I think that it's these people, they look for a target and they picked one," she said. "And Fribjon would help anybody. If he saw you standing out in the cold he would pick you up and take you to some place warm."