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

Summer Stories Around Town program encourages outdoor reading in Elk Valley

With storywalks and clothesline stories in Fernie and Sparwood, everyone can get reading

School District 5 identifies funding needs in yearly budget report

The SD5 board presented three main projects that need increased funding in the coming years

From baseball stars to forest fires: Southeast Fire Centre water bomber has an interesting past

Tanker 489 is stationed in Castlegar this year, but in the 1960s it belonged to the L.A. Dodgers.

Student athletes recognized for outstanding seasons

Fernie Secondary School students got their awards in a drive by ceremony last week

The Elk Valley celebrates Canada Day

Creative socially distant Canada Day festivities were held in both Fernie and Sparwood this week

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

VIDEO: Alberta man rescues baby eagle believed to be drowning in East Kootenay lake

Brett Bacon was boating on a lake in Windermere when he spotted the baby eagle struggling in the water

Conservationists raise concerns over state of care for grizzly cubs transferred to B.C. zoo

‘Let them be assessed now before their fate is sealed,’ urges B.C. conservationist Barb Murray

B.C.’s COVID-19 job recovery led by tourism, finance minister says

Okanagan a bright spot for in-province visitor economy

National Kitten Day aka the ‘purrfect’ day to foster a new friend

July 10 marks National Kitten Day, a special day to celebrate all things kittens

Lower Mainland YouTubers claim to be Kelowna display toilet ‘poopers’

RCMP can not speak to legitimacy of video, will be investigating

Haida matriarchs occupy ancient villages as fishing lodges reopen to visitors

‘Daughters of the rivers’ say occupation follows two fishing lodges reopening without Haida consent

Conservatives say police should be called into investigate WE charity scandal

Trudeau is already under investigation by the ethics commissioner for potential conflict of interest

Amber Alert continues for missing Quebec girls, 6 and 11, and their father

Police issued the alert for Norah Carpentier, 11, and Romy Carpentier, 6, from Levis, Que.

Most Read