Public inquest to be held into mysterious death of Fraser Valley man

2011 death of Corey Scherbey ruled an overdose by the RCMP while parents insist he was murdered

For more than eight years, Gladys and Ed Scherbey have agonized over the unusual circumstances surrounding the death of their son Corey.

The 38-year-old was found on August 22, 2011 in his Chilliwack house on his knees, face down on the cushion of his couch, surrounded by blood.

Now, maybe the Scherbeys will get some answers as a long-demanded public inquest has been scheduled by the BC Coroners Service for spring 2020.

The official finding at the time was that Scherbey died of “acute combined cocaine and ethanol intoxication.”

The Scherbeys insist that their son’s death was a homicide.

“I think it’s murder and that’s it,” Ed said back in 2013, something he has maintained steadfastly.

• READ MORE: OPINION: Homicide or overdose? The curious case of Corey Scherbey continues

• READ MORE: Cryptic note may hold clue to Scherbey death

Despite there being no findings by RCMP investigators of trauma, a struggle, or forced entry, many odd details caused uncertainty about the case, and the ongoing angst for Ed and Gladys. There were the bloody footprints in the house, a cardboard box with the words “Better Be A Funeral” written on it, a mysterious woman seen by Ed two days before, and a type-written note from a “Reader of The CHWK Times” who called the death a homicide related to a “woman scorned.”

A type-written note left at the Scherbeys house in 2014 that came with a photocopy of a Chilliwack Times story written in 2013 about the 2011 death of Corey Scherbey. A coroner’s inquest has been called into Scherbey’s death

In late 2018, RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki reviewed the case and determined the investigation was not “reasonably thorough.” One BC Supreme Court Justice called for a review, and another suggested the Minister of Public Safety should consider an inquest.

Earlier this year, Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General directed that it is “necessary or desirable in the public interest that an inquest be held.” On Nov. 18, the BC Coroners Services announced the inquiry to begin on April 14, 2020, at 9:30 a.m., at the Burnaby Coroners’ Court.

• READ MORE: Minister of Public Safety calls for coroner’s inquest into mysterious death of Chilliwack man

Presiding coroner Margaret Janzen and a jury will hear evidence from witnesses under oath to determine the facts surrounding this death. The jury will have the opportunity to make recommendations aimed at preventing deaths under similar circumstances. A jury must not make any finding of legal responsibility or express any conclusion of law.

“An inquest is a formal process that allows for public presentation of evidence relating to a death. The jury will certify the identity of the deceased and how, where, when and by what means death occurred,” according to the BC Coroners service, which added that the agency looks to gather the facts surrounding why a death took place.

“It is not a fault-finding agency. It provides an independent service to the family, community, government agencies and other organizations.”


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

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