Police investigators have determined the elderly couple found deceased in their Mill Hill home died in a murder suicide.
West Shore RCMP say that Peter Scheeren, 77, killed his 73-year-old wife Shirley with a knife and then took his own life with a knife. They were found Monday night after a Jeanine Drive neighbour hadn’t seen them for a few days and called police.
The Scheerens weren’t known to police and there had been no reports of domestic violence or history of violence reported to police, RCMP say. Police haven’t said if either of the Scheerens had suffered from mental illness, ill health or any form of dementia.
The deaths shocked friends and relatives of the Schreens, police say, suggesting that Peter Scheeren betrayed little or no indication of his intentions. Family members are receiving counselling from Greater Victoria Victim Services.
“From the friends and family, this came as a huge shock,” said RCMP Const. Julie Chanin. “This is very sad, very tragic. We haven’t had anything like this before on the West Shore that I can recall.”
The Vancouver Island Major Crime Unit, West Shore RCMP, RCMP forensic identification unit and the B.C. Coroners Service investigated the incident.
The Scheerens were 33-year residents of Jeanine Drive in Langford.
A number of media organizations spoke with Peter Scheeren in early March in regards to the murder of Gordon Berg, who lived across the street from his house. Talkative and friendly but private, Scheeren was reluctant to give his name to media, but eventually agreed to be named in the Gazette.
He described Jeanine Drive as a peaceful neighbourhood, but lamented the large gatherings at Berg’s home. He said he wished police were more present in the Mill Hill area. He seemed shaken by the March 7 homicide so near his home, as he walked down the street with his golden retriever.