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Warsing Children Strangled, Police Say - The Free Press Turns 115 Years Old

Kristian Lee Warsing appearing in Cranbrook Provincial Court a couple of days after the murders of two children - The Free Press Files
Kristian Lee Warsing appearing in Cranbrook Provincial Court a couple of days after the murders of two children
— image credit: The Free Press Files

June 1 1993

Free Press Files

The two children found dead in their Sparwood home may 27 were strangled, RCMP Say.

An Autopsy conducted Saturday morning in Cranbrook determined the cause of death of Shannon Warsing 7 months, and Stuart Warsing 7, Const. Bill Andreaschuk said in a press release late Monday afternoon.

The children’s step brother, Kristian Lee Warsing, appeared in Cranbrook Provincial court earlier on Monday to face two charges of first-degree murder.

Warsing, 19, is also charged with attempted the murder of his step mother, Debra Warsing, 35.

He will appear in court again Thursday to enter a plea,  Andreaschuk said in an interview on May 30.

Warsing was arrested May 28th in Fernie after an intense, day and a half air and ground search by area RCMP detachments.

The search involved more than 30 police officers, two helicopters and police dogs. Police checked vehicles at road blocks on area highways Friday.

Funeral services for the two Warsing children will be held Thursday at 1p.m. at the Sparwood Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Sparwood RCMP responded to an 8am telephone call Monday May 27th from Debra Warsing. She said she had been stabbed several times with a barbecue skewer and her two young children were missing.

When police arrived at the Warsing home, they found both children dead.

A women who lives in the townhouse directly across from the warsing residence said she was alarmed by Debra Warsing’s cries for help shortly after 7:30 a.m.

“someone started screaming. Oh my god, help me!” Margaret Busato said in an interview.

Bursato said she looked out her kitchen window and saw Debra Warsing collapsed on the pavement. Busato rushed outside to Warsing’s aid, and the two went to Busato’s home.

“She kept saying she wanted her babies” Busato said.

Debra Warsing was listed in good condition in Sparwood General Hospital Monday, according to the hospital administrator.

Fernie resident Barb Neidig and her eight year old daughter said they saw a man walk across a nearby road a few minutes before the arrest. Neidig, who was with her daughter in their parked van at the time, honked the horn to get the attention of the other children in the yard then took her daughter into a relatives apartment.

Sparwood’s Mayor Toto Miller said news of an arrest has brought a sense of relief to his community.

In an interview May 28, he said Sparwood residents were in a state of numbed shock after the murder.

“There’s been a sort of silence, a joint feeling of grief,” Miller said.

But when news of an arrest was announced at Sparwood Secondary School’s graduation ceremonies earlier that evening, it was greeted with cheers and applause, he added.

“I just couldn’t believe it could happen in the town of Sparwood,” a shaken Betty Curtis said Monday of her reaction to the news of the May 27 deaths of Shannon and Stuart Warsing.

“ I was just totally devastated,” the sales clerk at the Sparwood Fields store added. “I thought , What if those were my Grandchildren?”

Curtis’s comments summed up the mood of many Elk Valley residents in the days that have followed the murders.

Elaine Hutton, a neighbor of the Warsings, said the deaths have left Sparwood in a state of stunned belief.

“Everybody’s shocked” Hutton said in an interview Monday. “There wondering what happened and why”

The mood has been similar in Fernie where a suspect Kristian Lee Warsing, was arrested Saturday.

Constance Stratton, co-owner of Our Cappuccino Corner, said news of the deaths had cast a pall over town.

“Most people who came in were just sad” Stratton said Sunday “It was really eerie. You could tell something had happened in town.”

Fernie Secondary School’s vice-principle described Warsing, who graduated from the school in 1993, as an average student who had good marks in some subjects. Dave Wall added Warsing was not considered a discipline problem.

Warsing’s former geography 12 teacher, Len Ircandia, said Warsing was a quite polite, very thorough student who’s examination results were always good.

For more great stories that ran in The Free Press in the past 115 years http://issuu.com/thefreepress/docs/115_the_free_press/1

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