The parents of Corey John Scherbey, who died under mysterious circumstances in his Chilliwack home in 2011, may finally get some answers via a public inquest set for next month.
The BC Coroners Service was forced to delay the planned inquest scheduled for April 14, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last week it was announced the inquest has been rescheduled for Nov. 2 at the Burnaby Coroners’ Court.
Gladys and Ed Scherbey have been fighting for years against the RCMP’s conclusion that 38-year-old Corey died of a drug overdose. It was Aug. 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 more than nine years.
Even if he did die of a drug overdose – a finding the Scherbeys do not accept – numerous unexplained circumstances haunted the two in the subsequent years. 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.
The BC Coroners Service (BCCS) inquest into Scherbey’s death is now set for Nov. 2, 2020, at 9:30 a.m., at the Burnaby Coroners’ Court (20th floor, 4720 Kingsway, Metrotower II, Metrotown, Burnaby).
“Margaret Janzen, presiding coroner, and a jury will hear evidence from witnesses under oath to determine the facts surrounding this death,” according to a BCCS press release. “The jury will have an opportunity to make recommendations aimed at preventing deaths under similar circumstances. A jury must not make any finding of legal responsibility or express any conclusion of law.”
An inquest is a formal process that allows for public presentation of evidence relating to a death. The jury will certify the identity of the deceased and how, where, when and by what means death occurred.
While the BCCS aims to gather facts surrounding the cause of death, it is not a fault-finding agency. It provides an independent service to the family, community, government agencies and other organizations.
Due to the pandemic, members of the public and media will be able to attend virtually using livestreaming.
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