Father charged with second-degree murder in B.C. sisters’ deaths

OAK BAY, B.C. — The father of two girls who were found dead in a Victoria-area home on Christmas Day has been charged with two counts of second-degree murder.

Andrew Berry, 43, was arrested and charged after he was released from hospital, RCMP said in a release on Wednesday.

Police have said they were called to a residence in Oak Bay on the evening of Dec. 25 where officers discovered the bodies of two children inside.

They also said an injured man, whose condition was not disclosed, was found inside the home and taken to hospital.

A friend and a family member have identified the girls as Chloe Berry, 6, and her sister Aubrey Berry, 4.

Trisha Lees, who was acting as a spokeswoman for the family, has said the children’s mother notified police when her former common-law spouse hadn’t returned the girls as scheduled.

Lees declined to comment on the charges.

At a candle-light vigil for the girls on Saturday, Ricky de Souza, the principal of St. Christopher’s Montessori School where Aubrey attended, said the girl’s death leaves a hole in the school

He said the four-year-old was a kind and gentle person who was the angel Gabriel in the School’s recent Christmas nativity performance.

Stuart Hall, Christ Church Cathedral School principal, said Chloe was a peacemaker at their school and was always the first person to offer help to her classmates.

“Chloe has left us all wounded,” he said of her death.

Oak Bay’s acting mayor, Hazel Braithwaite, told the ceremony that the deaths have taken a toll on the entire community.

“We have all been shaken by this tragic event,” she said.

A decision from the B.C. Supreme Court shows Berry and his estranged common-law wife had a dispute over custody of the girls.

Court documents show the girls’ mother, Sarah Cotton, was concerned about their father’s parenting abilities.

The documents say Berry wanted to split custody of the girls evenly with their mother.

Instead, in a decision last May, the court granted Cotton more parenting time because of her flexible work schedule and because she had been the girls’ primary caregiver for most of their lives.

Bernard Richard, British Columbia’s child and youth representative, said last week that his office has started gathering documents, but it’s too early to say whether they will launch a formal investigation into the case.

Police said on Wednesday the Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit continues to investigate the deaths.

Just Posted

WATCH: Property taxes in Red Deer will go up 2.02 per cent in 2018

City council passes a “tough” budget that maintains most service levels

Red Deer councillor balks at city getting stuck with more provincial funding responsibilities

Volunteer Central seeks municipal funding after being cut off by FCSS

Olds chicken barn burns to the ground, no livestock harmed

More than 100,000 chickens were saved as fire crews prevent the blaze from spreading

Bear video meant to promote conservation: zoo owner

Discovery Wildlife Park says it will look at other ways to promote its conservation message

Red Deer’s Soundhouse closing its doors on Record Store Day

The owners of The Soundhouse want to shut down their store on… Continue reading

NorAm Western Canadian Cross Country Ski Championships begin in Red Deer

The biggest cross-country skiing competition in Red Deer’s history is underway. Nearly… Continue reading

In photos: Get ready for Western Canadian Championships

Haywood NorAm Western Canadian Championships and Peavey Mart Alberta Cup 5/6 start… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer city council debates cost-savings versus quality of life

Majority of councillors decide certain services are worth preserving

Got milk? Highway reopened near Millet

A southbound truck hauling milk and cartons collided with a bridge

Stettler’s newest residents overcame fear, bloodshed to come here

Daniel Kwizera, Diane Mukasine and kids now permanent residents

Giddy up: Red Deer to host Canadian Finals Rodeo in 2018

The CFR is expected to bring $20-30 million annually to Red Deer and region

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag at Pyeongchang Olympics

Not since Kurt Browning at the 1994 Lillehammer Games has a figure… Continue reading

Beer Canada calls on feds to axe increasing beer tax as consumption trends down

OTTAWA — A trade association for Canada’s beer industry wants the federal… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month