Double murder trial: Officer saw ‘no signs of forced entry’ to Victoria apartment

Andrew Berry, 45, is charged with the murder of daughters Aubrey and Chloe Berry

A forensics officer who processed the scene where the bodies of two little girls were discovered Christmas Day, 2017 said he observed no signs of forced entry in the Oak Bay apartment.

Andrew Berry, 45, is on trial for the murders of his daughters Chloe, 6 and Aubrey, 4.

On Thursday, Const. Andrew Harward of the Saanich Police Department, under questioning from Crown attorney Patrick Weir, told the jury how he learned about the double homicide.

When his boss, Sgt. Michael Duquette, phoned him on Dec. 25, 2017, Harward thought he was calling to wish him a merry Christmas.

“It was not in fact, a Christmas salutation…we would be going to the scene of a double homicide.”

Harward learned he would be the primary identifying officer for the case – placing him in charge of all decisions relating to the forensic processing portion of the investigation.

READ ALSO: Andrew Berry’s lawyer draws comparison to Oak Bay ‘stabbing attack’ of woman earlier that year

READ ALSO: Court hears paramedic feared for safety of first responders at Oak Bay murder scene

He didn’t go to the Beach Drive apartment until Dec. 26, after he had been briefed with other officers, including Duquette, and obtained a search warrant.

He arrived that morning to process the scene with Duquette. From viewing the exterior the building itself, Harward said he didn’t notice any pry marks or problems with the door frame – located on the northwest side of the apartment building. He also said he didn’t notice signs of forced entry on the south entrance or the entrance from the car port. “When I arrive on scene I look for signs of forced entry on the door. And those can be pry marks, they can be foot marks, they can be anything of that nature, I didn’t observe any signs of forced entry on the exterior,” he said, adding that he did not “see any obvious blood on the exterior of the building.”

Harward said Duquette entered unit 103 ahead of him with a video recorder – going from room to room and videoing an overview of the scene. Harward followed, taking ‘overall shots’ to create a record of the unit as it was upon their arrival. He observed the front door to the suite for signs of forced entry, and said he again observed none.

“When you were taking your exterior photos, did you observe anything that suggested further examination was necessary outside of the suite?” Weir asked.

“No,” Harward responded.

“Can you tell us what sorts of things would lead you to believe further investigation might be necessary outside of the suite?”

Harward said: “If I had seen a pry mark on the front door then it would have caused me to take a closer look at the front door. A lot of the evidence that I find at break and enters is usually at the point of entry.”

As the officers processed the scene, the bodies of Chloe and Aubrey were still in their beds where they had been discovered the day prior.

Harward entered Aubrey’s room and noted blood on the bed, on the walls, on the floor and splattered across the horizontal blinds, which he said were not broken or deformed.

“Why are you looking at the window area?” asked Weir.

“I’m still at this point, trying to determine if there was a point of entry into the suite,” Harward said. “If the door doesn’t show signs of forced entry, then you start looking at the windows.”

Harward testified that, as he continued to process the scene he found that windows in the suite – one in each bedroom, one in the living room and one in the dining area – were all in a “locked position” with the levers facing downwards.

A window in the kitchen dining room area faced south onto a pathway, and a number of small items including a snowman figurine, sat undisturbed on the sill.

READ ALSO: Defence lawyer requests break as blood-soaked clothing shown to courtroom in Berry murder trial

READ ALSO: Oak Bay Sgt. struggles through emotional testimony in double murder trial

Satisfied with his examination of windows from the inside, Harward said he did not examine the exterior of the windows.

Harward said he did not swab every blood sample, or the “pink floaties” in the hallway, moved there by first responders. He did not swab the carpet at the entrance, where he said there may have been cross-contamination from the number of first responders on scene the day prior. And in the absence of information of someone fleeing the scene, Harward did not cordon off areas around the outside of the apartment building for processing.

Harward told the courtroom that based on his assessment of the points of entries, he did not believe that there would be any fingerprints found on scene that did not belong to Berry, Aubrey or Chloe.

Cross-examination of Const. Harward continues Friday morning.



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

OPINION: Ten signs that Port Alice has changed

“Right now, our lack of amenities is holding back economic growth in our village”

Striking Western Forest Products workers could lose benefits in September

Union, forest company at odds over Vancouver Island benefit payments as strike enters third month

Port McNeill council discusses ‘bear aware’ and what you can do to stay safe

Port McNeill’s Conservation Officer Brad Adams gave a presentation about being ‘bear aware’.

Port Hardy RCMP release tips to prevent fraud and theft from vehicles

In many of the incidents reported, “the vehicles that were broken into were unlocked.”

Stranded hikers rescued by helicopter on Mt. Schoen

Campbell River Search and Rescue used hoist operation to rescue trio

Trudeau to meet with U.K. and Japanese prime ministers ahead of G7 summit

French President Emmanuel Macron, this year’s G7 host, has little expectations of a unified front from the leaders

Vancouver Island man dead after reported hit-and-run incident

Oceanside RCMP seek public’s help gathering information

Thousands cycle to conquer cancer

The 11th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer took place Saturday morning, Aug. 24 in Surrey, B.C.

PHOTOS: Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries

Racist confrontation in Richmond parking lot caught on camera

Woman can be heard yelling racial slurs, swear words at woman in apparent parking dispute

Groups ready campaign to help young voters identify ‘fake news’ in election

The media literacy campaign to focus on identifying misinformation and suspicious sources online

Big rally in northern B.C. draws attention to continuing lumber crisis

Mayor Joan Atkinson says about 400 workers have been directly affected by the closure of the Canfor mill

Orangeville Northmen take Minto Cup at Langley Events Centre

Swept best-of-five series 3-0 over Victoria Shamrocks

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Most Read