Local media are identifying victims of double homicide in Oak Bay as 6-year-old Chloe Berry and 4-year-old Aubrey Berry. (Twitter photo)

Young victims of Oak Bay homicide were ‘lively, energetic and silly girls’

Friends close to the family have identified the dead as 6-year-old Chloe and 4-year-old Aubrey Berry

Sisters 6-year-old Chloe Berry and 4-year-old Aubrey Berry have been identified as the victims of the Christmas Day double homicide in Oak Bay.

The community is responding to the tragedy by offering support however they can: churches are opening their doors to mourners, residents are organizing food for first responders, Mayor Nils Jensen has announced a candlelight vigil on Willows Beach where the girls often played.

“I understand the family has asked for privacy so while it is very important that we support them, it is critical that we do so in a way that respects their wishes,” said Jensen.

The children’s mother Sarah Cotton is requesting privacy at this time asking close friend Trisha Lees to act as spokesperson for the family.

“Sarah has a couple of us that have been with her ever since, taking care of her as best we can,” said Lees. “We are very grateful for the remarkable outpouring of support from everywhere.”

Cotton is well-known in the community, having worked in communications at Tartan Group, BC Pension Corporation and BC Ferries – where she met Andrew Berry, the father of the two girls.

“She is very social and well-liked. Her girls were very much like her,” said Lees. “They were lively, energetic, and silly girls.”

Chloe was in Grade 1 at Christ Church Cathedral School and had recently fallen in love with horseback riding.

Aubrey was in her final year of preschool at St. Christopher’s Montessori School and Lees said she was just making that transition from toddler to little girl.

Both girls were artistic and loved to draw but were also balls of energy that enjoyed spending time at Willows Beach.

“There will be a service eventually. We are just starting to think about that,” said Lees.

On Christmas Day, the children were in the care of their father at his apartment on the corner of Beach Drive and Goodwin Street. The children were supposed to go home to their mother’s on Christmas afternoon but they never arrived. Cotton contacted the Oak Bay Police, who responded to Berry’s apartment where the bodies of the two girls as well as an injured man were found. The man was taken to hospital. Details on his injuries have not been released.

Cotton and Berry separated in September 2013 and shared custody of the two girls, spending years locked in a custody battle.

In a May 2017 judgement, the judge decided that the two parents would share custody, although it was decided that Cotton would be allotted more time with the girls.

The judge noted that “the Father is a loving Father who has much to offer his daughters” and that he was “not persuaded that the Father’s displays of poor judgment regarding the children have reached the level that the children should be deprived of significant parenting time with their Father.”

The judge did express concerns about Berry’s care of the girls. Those concerns included a failure “to ensure that the girls were using car seats and life-jackets properly, and that he left a child at a distance in a stroller in a public place.”

The Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit is expected to be at the scene of the crime for the remainder of the week. The BC Coroners Service is investigating the deaths.

Related: Oak Bay Police find two bodies on Christmas Day


 

keri.coles@oakbaynews.com

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

UPDATE: West Fraser to permanently reduce production in Quesnel, Fraser Lake

The move will affect 75 employees in Quesnel, 60 in Fraser Lake

Feedback sought on environmental impacts of New Gold’s proposed Blackwater Mine

Public is invited to comment in final round of consultation

Vanderhoof speed skater makes international debut

Alison Desmarais earned a bronze medal in her first short track speed skating World Cup

Column: the 4-H way of life

Local 4-H member Jacinta Meir on what being a member means to her

Local soccer player Sydney Kelly receives prestigious Premier’s Award

The 18-year-old trained with UNBC’s soccer team while in high school

People flocking to Vancouver Island city to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over Cowichan Bay

Protesters confront Environment Minister in B.C.

Protesters wanting more for killer whales confront Catherine McKenna

Humans reshaping evolutionary history of species around the globe: paper

University of British Columbia researcher had the paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society

Toronto ‘carding’ activist Desmond Cole stopped by police in Vancouver

Cole says his experience reveals what daily life is like for black and Indigenous residents

Commercial trucks banned from left lane of Coquihalla

B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation has introduced a new program that hopes to prevent accidents and closures on the Coquihalla Highway.

B.C. on track to record same number of overdose deaths as last year

128 people died of overdoses in September, bringing the total to more than 1,100 so far in 2018

B.C. firefighters rescue horse stuck in mud

‘It happens more often than you’d think,’ says deputy chief

Canadians more prepared for weather disaster than financial one: poll

RBC recommends people check their bank app as often as the weather app

B.C. dog owner sues after pet killed in beaver trap

A Kamloops man is suing the operator of a trapline north of the city after his dog died

Most Read