More than nine years after the mysterious death of Corey John Scherbey in Chilliwack, a public inquest started Monday.
The BC Coroners Service was forced to delay the planned inquest scheduled for April 14, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it finally began Nov. 2, 2020.
Corey Scherbey’s mother Gladys Scherbey was testifying after 2 p.m. at the Burnaby Coroners’ Court in a hearing that was broadcast using Microsoft Teams.
The first question Gladys was asked was about what kind of person Corey was.
“He was loving, he was gentle, he was a super person,” she said. “I’m not saying this because he was just my son but he was my best friend as well.”
She gave an example of his good nature in that he did the labour for free to fix the roof on the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Chilliwack.
“That’s the kind of person he was.”
She was then asked about the details of her finding Corey deceased in his house on Aug. 22, 2011.
She had called Corey, and he didn’t answer. Her and husband Ed went over to the house and rang the doorbell. She said she was worried because his truck was in the driveway, but he didn’t answer the door.
Gladys used the key she had, went in, walked up the stairs and started to see dried blood right away. There in his living room, she said his large coffee table was moved out of place and there was a huge pool of dried blood on the floor.
Then she saw Corey, on his knees in front of the couch, face down.
“My heart sank,” she said. “I said ‘Corey, Corey, are you alright? Answer me, answer me Corey.’”
She said she went behind him, and her instinct was to put her arms underneath his to lift him up.
“All I could see was the back of his head. His hands were stretched out…. I pulled him against my chest and gently laid him down. When I laid him down, I looked … his face was dark. I saw no hair on the top of his head… his nose was white. I looked on both sides of his head. His right ear seemed to be missing, his left ear was completely flat.”
Gladys and Ed Scherbey have been fighting for years against the RCMP’s conclusion that 38-year-old Corey died of a drug overdose.
A pathologist at the time 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.”
At the inquest on Nov. 2, 2020, Gladys was also asked about a cardboard box that she found in his house that had words written on it: “Better be a funeral.”
“What sick person would write this?” she asked.
The Scherbeys have been fighting for answers as to what happened to Corey for years. Finally, 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.
Due to the pandemic, members of the public and media are able to attend virtually using livestreaming. Gladys Scherbey continued on the witness stand Monday afternoon. The inquiry is scheduled to continue all week.
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