Friends, family mourn Salt Spring Island woman killed in suspected murder-suicide

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for Jennifer Quesnel’s three sons

A gentle and loving mother, friend, daughter and sister is how many are remembering Jennifer Quesnel, a Salt Spring Island woman who died earlier this week in what the family has confirmed to be a murder-suicide that has shaken the surrounding community.

“Jennifer was taken from us, and her boys, during a time of hope for her,” a family friend wrote in a GoFundMe fundraising page launched Friday (June 5). “She had new dreams and aspirations and felt positive about her future.”

According to police, officers arrived to a home on Fulford-Ganges Road just before 5 p.m. on Monday. There, officers found a 48-year-old man inside, who family and friends have confirmed to be Quesnel’s husband. Quesnel, 41, was also found suffering from serious injuries, and died a short time later.

Quesnel’s family said in a statement released to the media that she had recently left an 18-year-marriage with a clear history of controlling and abusive behaviour by her husband. On Monday, she had returned to the property to grab belongings and visit her horse under the impression he wouldn’t be at the property.

“Unknown to Jennifer, John had parked in a secluded area nearby and hid himself from view, armed. He ambushed her without warning, shooting her twice and then turning the gun on himself,” the family alleges in a written statement.

“He couldn’t stand to see her happy and if he couldn’t be happy, neither could she. It was a selfish act by a coward and bully and committed in the most cruel and pre-meditated way.”

Police have not identified the man or woman involved in the incident, but have said no charges will be laid. Another person, who neither police or the family identified out of respect for their privacy, was present at the time of the incident.

The B.C. woman leaves behind three sons, Jake, Dan and John Jr. All money raised through the GoFundMe campaign will be used to support Quesnel’s children “as they work through both the emotional and financial strains of losing both of their parents.”

Jennifer Quesnel, 41, was killed on Monday, June 1, 2020, in an apparent murder suicide on Salt Spring Island. (GoFundMe photo)

More than $77,000 had been raised as of Saturday morning.

“As we all try to wade through this senseless and life-altering loss, Jennifer’s family and loved ones would like to encourage you to help keep her memory alive by remembering her kind and loving spirit,” the fundraising page reads.

The tragedy comes as advocates have spent months voicing concerns that there has been a spike in domestic and gender-based violence as pandemic restrictions force many to stay home alongside their abusers.

“She was trying to leave an abusive marriage and was killed when she sought her freedom,” Islanders Working Against Violence said in a statement. “This is the riskiest time for a women’s safety and often when the violence can escalate.”

Quesnel will be remembered as someone who “was everything that was good about people,” her family said.

“We’re so thankful that she had that time away from him, to realize what life could be like and to see her that happy. She was the most beautiful person you would ever meet. So full of life.”

—-

If you are in immediate danger, call 911. You can also contact the following:

VictimLink BC is a 24-7 hotline available in 150 different languages which provides immediate crisis suppoert and referral services for victims of crime and family or sexual violence. Call 1-800-563-0808, text 604-836-6381 or email VictimLinkBC@bc211.ca.

For more information, visit endingviolence.org/need-help.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Mowi’s B.C. salmon farms achieve environmental certification from independent watchdog

Aquaculture Steward Council certification complies with 500 sustainability and social measures

Island Health provides Baby Beds for infants north of the Malahat

A safe place for baby to sleep is key to reduce sleep-related deaths

Author chronicles churches built by pioneers in the Salish Sea

B.C. author Liz Bryan preserving a little bit of pioneer history in her latest book

North Island College president to retire next year

North Island College’s president and CEO has officially announced his plans to… Continue reading

UPDATE: Canadian Ferry Association cautions against politicizing BC Ferry operations

Reasonable safety, not politicized safety way to go, Canadian Ferry Association says

B.C. identifies 20 new COVID-19 cases, travellers specified in count

Pandemic total 3,028 cases, 51 people from outside Canada

Campaign aims to raise $50K for young family of deceased Vancouver Island skydiver

James Smith, 34, died July 5 following incident in Nanoose Bay

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

Hefty undeclared driver charges piling up, ICBC warns customers

Average extra penalty $2,971 after an at-fault accident

RCMP disarm man experiencing mental health crisis

The male pulled a knife on officers and then held it to his own throat expressing a desire to die

B.C. appeals judge’s decision to leave three clubhouses in Hells Angels hands

The province has filed two notices of appeal related to the B.C. Supreme Court decision

Most Read