Residents of Oak Bay, British Columbia, were sent into a state of shock on Christmas Day after learning that two little girls had been murdered by a yet unidentified man before he attempted to take his own life. Today, December 27, those who knew the 4- and 6-year-old girl provided heart-wrenching statements recalling just how special the children were and the joy they brought to the neighborhood.
According to Global News, the municipality has rallied around Sarah Cotton, mother of Aubrey and Chloe Berry. Her close friend, Trisha Lees, spoke with reporters in regard to the life they lived, often spending long periods of time outdoors at parks and beaches with Sarah. The girls had a “whirlwind of energy around them,” remembers Lees, going on to recall just how loved they were by those living in Oak Bay.
When the tragedy first occurred, police were hesitant to release much information until they had gathered all the facts in order to present the public with the most accurate portrayal of events. As revealed by CFJC Today, however, authorities did not delay admitting that the deaths were “suspicious” and foul play was indeed being suspected. Later on, it was revealed that the third individual found inside the Oak Bay residence was taken to hospital with self-inflicted injuries. His current condition remains unknown.
Residents of the municipality have most certainly been in mourning for the past few days, setting up a memorial in the neighborhood where the girls died. There has been an outpouring of community support on various social media sites, namely Facebook and Twitter, with anguished users expressing their sympathies to the family and simply wanting answers for this tragedy.
Another reason why the deaths came as quite the shock was due to Oak Bay generally being known as one of the safest communities on Vancouver Island, with very minimal crime taking place. The last reported criminal activity occurred back in April of this year, when a woman was attacked with a machete while in her home overlooking one of the island’s most popular beaches, Willows. CTV revealed that residents experienced fear over the next few days and were encouraged by authorities to keep their doors locked as police searched for the attacker, whom the 45-year-old victim said she did not know. She has since recovered from her surgery; however, the assailant has still not been located and the incident was essentially written off as a “random attack.”