Peruvian police have arrested Christopher Franz, the common-law husband of Kimberlee Kasatkin, who has been missing in Peru since November.
Franz, a Peruvian citizen, was initially detained for 72 hours in connection to Kasatkin’s disappearance.
His detention has now been extended by four days as police search his property, though no charges have been laid.
Kasatkin, originally from Abbotsford, had been living in Lima with Franz and their two children — a three-year-old daughter and six-year-old son — for more than three years.
Kasatkin was last heard from on November 26, 2016, when she spoke to her sisters via video call.
Her brother, Roger Grafstrom, said that at the time of her disappearance, Franz told Peruvian police she had left the home voluntary.
The case is now being treated as a femicide — defined as the murder of a woman under Peruvian law.
Family assisted with investigation
Grafstrom said that because the disappearance was not initially classified as a missing person case, it was not thoroughly investigated.
“With so many people going missing in Peru, police just don’t look into it,” he said. “We were told if we hadn’t gone down there, nothing would have ever happened.”
Frustrated by the language barrier and the lack of answers, Kasatkin’s family traveled to Peru in January to advocate for their daughter’s case and assist with the investigation. Upon arrival, they also hired a Peruvian lawyer.
Grafstrom said his parents watched “endless” hours of video surveillance.
“It’s been a long, arduous process.”
He said the Peruvian police handling the case have been “fantastic,” working long hours with few resources.
“They don’t have computers at the police station, so officers have been bringing their own laptops in to help,” he said.