After years of waiting for answers into the mysterious death of their son, the parents of Corey John Scherbey will have to wait yet again in the wake of the global coronavirus pandemic that is grinding the world’s business to a halt.
The BC Coroners Service’s (BCCS) inquest into Scherbey’s 2011 death was scheduled to take place April 14 at the Burnaby Coroners’ Court.
”The decision to postpone the inquest is in line with the Supreme Court of British Columbia’s approach to COVID-19,” according to a BCCS press release. “As part of the court’s efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the chief justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia has ordered the closure of all courthouses and suspension of all regular operations, effective immediately, until further notice.”
The inquest will be rescheduled once all COVID-19 public health measures are no longer required.
Gladys and Ed Scherbey have been fighting for years against the RCMP’s conclusion that their 38-year-old son died of a drug overdose. It was August 22, 2011 when Gladys walked through the door of Corey’s house and into his living room.
Corey was on his knees in front of a leather sofa with his head face down on the cushion. A sprawling pool of blood surrounded the man, hardened to a crust where it had flowed underneath the couch on the laminate floor.
A pathologist determined the cause of death to be “acute combined cocaine and ethanol intoxication.”
“I think it’s murder and that’s it,” Ed said at the time, something he and Gladys have maintained for eight-and-a-half years.
While he may have died of a drug overdose, numerous unexplained circumstances haunted the two in the subsequent years as they sought answers. There were allegedly suspicious real estate transactions. A high school friend, who later died of a blood poisoning, told them that Corey was killed over drugs and money.
Then there a the cryptic, typewritten note they received years after the death.
“Shakepeare [sic] said: ‘Hell hath no fury than a woman scorned,’” the note started. “That’s the kind of homicide is [sic] was, a scorned woman! Those who know who it was, belong to too tight a group to say a word!
“I think your son Corey decided too late to ‘back off’ and it jeopardized his well-being-his life!” The note was signed “a Reader of The CHWK Times.”
The Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP reviewed the file and later requested Mounties conduct a further investigation into the case.
In late 2018, RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki agreed the investigation was not “reasonably thorough.”
That same year, one B.C. Supreme Court justice called for a review, and another suggested the Minister of Public Safety should consider an inquest.
Farnworth did order that inquest in spring of 2019, but now it is delayed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The BCCS also postponed the May 2020 inquest into the death of a man shot by an RCMP officer near Slocan in 2014. Peter John De Groot fled police after a confrontation and was later shot and killed when he pointed a rifle at police.
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