Homicide investigators were on scene Nov. 1, 2019 following the discovery of a body on the Soowahlie First Nation reserve off Sleepy Hollow Road near Cultus Lake, south of Chilliwack. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)

Homicide investigators were on scene Nov. 1, 2019 following the discovery of a body on the Soowahlie First Nation reserve off Sleepy Hollow Road near Cultus Lake, south of Chilliwack. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)

TOP STORIES 2019: No arrests made in four out of five Chilliwack homicides this year

Only Shane Travis Hughes charged with killing Christine Denham in February

Christine Denham. Stanny Carr. James Vidal. Keith Baldwin. Jordan Smyth.

Five Chilliwack residents who were the victims of homicide in 2019, a number too high for a community this size but not a number out of line with the murder rate in recent years.

Obviously more people died in 2019 from motor vehicle accidents, opioid overdoses and cancer. But it is the terrible nature of homicide, be it the bald-faced premeditated planning that comes with a rare first-degree murder charge, the slightly less culpable second-degree murder charge, or the in-the-moment killing that comes with a manslaughter charge, that makes this the most heinous and dramatic of crimes in our justice system.

Christine Denham

On Feb. 26, there were reports of a shooting at a home on Victor Street in the downtown area. Christine Denham, 42, was declared to be in critical condition, but succumbed to her injuries on March 1, marking the first homicide of the year.

Denham’s killing, which is labelled a domestic homicide, is the only one for which an arrest was made. A few days after she died, 41-year-old Shane Travis Hughes was charged with second-degree murder. His case has proceeded slowly since then, with Hughes next due in court scheduled for arraignment on Jan. 13.

Stanny Carr

The second homicide of the year is, arguably, a 2018 killing. On March 6, 43-year-old Stanny Carr died from injuries she sustained seven months prior when she was gunned down in a vehicle on Woodbine Street after 3 a.m. on Aug. 8, 2018. It took weeks, but finally on March 26, the RCMP’s Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) reported they were on the case. Since then, no arrests have been made.

Just four days after that homicide, 33-year-old James Vidal died of gunshot wounds at the scene of a shooting on Alexander Avenue. The incident was at approximately 6:30 a.m. on March 10. Vidal was well-known to police and while rumours circulated about who might have been involved, but no arrests have been made.

MarieAnne and Keith Baldwin

It was a peaceful spring and summer in Chilliwack on the homicide front. IHIT was not called town for seven months until Oct. 22 when 27-year-old Keith Matthew Baldwin was shot after midnight near Ruth & Naomi’s Mission. Baldwin, too, was known to police but his wife said while he had a history of troubles, he was cleaning up his life.

No arrests have been made.

• READ MORE: Wife of Chilliwack homicide victim says he was more than ‘known to police’

CAPTION

The fifth homicide of 2019 occurred when 26-year-old Jordan Christopher Smyth was found dead off a remote section of Sleepy Hollow Road on the Soowahlie Reserve near Cultus Lake. As with Vidal and Baldwin, IHIT reported that Smyth was known to police and his killing is said to be targeted.

No arrests have been made.

• READ MORE: Victim named in Halloween night homicide near Cultus Lake

In 2018 there were three homicides – Cody Isaacson, Zach Cross and Kyle Cromarty – all unsolved. In 2017, there were four, and only Kirkland Russell was convicted, and only of manslaughter. On March 6, 2019, Russell was sentenced to eight years in prison for killing Douglas Presseau, a man considered to be a Good Samaritan who was stabbed 14 times by Russell.


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

@PeeJayAitch
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

IHIT has identified the victim of the March 10 homicide in Chilliwack as James Vidal. (Facebook)

IHIT has identified the victim of the March 10 homicide in Chilliwack as James Vidal. (Facebook)

Stanny Bernice Carr was shot on Aug. 8, 2018 in downtown Chilliwack. She died on March 6, 2019 in hospital and on March 26, IHIT declared the case to be a homicide. (Submitted)

Stanny Bernice Carr was shot on Aug. 8, 2018 in downtown Chilliwack. She died on March 6, 2019 in hospital and on March 26, IHIT declared the case to be a homicide. (Submitted)

Christine Denham was killed in a house in downtown Chilliwack on Feb. 26. Charged is Shane Travis Hughes. (Submitted)

Christine Denham was killed in a house in downtown Chilliwack on Feb. 26. Charged is Shane Travis Hughes. (Submitted)

Jordan Smyth was found dead on the Soowahlie Reserve near Cultus Lake on Nov. 1, 2019. (Facebook)

Jordan Smyth was found dead on the Soowahlie Reserve near Cultus Lake on Nov. 1, 2019. (Facebook)

Keith Baldwin and his wife MarieAnne. Keith Baldwin, 27, was shot and killed downtown Chilliwack in the early hours of Oct. 22, 2019.

Keith Baldwin and his wife MarieAnne. Keith Baldwin, 27, was shot and killed downtown Chilliwack in the early hours of Oct. 22, 2019.

Just Posted

A map showing where the most number of cases were recorded from April 23 to 29. This map, revealing a breakdown of infections by neighborhood, was pulled from a data package leaked to the Vancouver Sun last week (and independently verified).
36 Abbotsford schools flagged for COVID-19 exposures in the last 2 weeks, shattering record

Clearbrook Elementary recorded an ‘exposure’ on all 11 school days

An injection kit is seen inside a Fraser Health supervised consumption site is pictured in Surrey, B.C., Tuesday, June 6, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Hope’s high rate of drug overdose noted in BC Coroners Service report

Up-to-date numbers not available yet for 2021, but Fraser Health deaths on the rise

Screenshot from security footage a young, thin cougar prowling on Oliver Crescent in Sardis on May 7, 2021. (Dustin Meyer photo)
VIDEO: Cougar sighting in residential Chilliwack neighbourhood prompts warning

Springtime cougar sightings likely due to cats following deer down to valley floor, says CO

<a href="Facebook users reported seeing a body on the side of the road this morning." target="_blank"></a>Facebook users reported seeing a body on the side of the road this morning. (File photo)
Man killed in fatal hit-and-run collision between Abbotsford and Chilliwack

Body reported at 6 a.m., police close North Parallel Road, single highway lane as they investigate

Westbound traffic is slow moving on Highway 1 following a crash that has police blocking one lane. Google Maps screenshot taken at 9:07 a.m.
TRAFFIC: Crash on North Parallel Road causes road closure, single westbound Highway 1 lane blocked

Abbotsford Police investigating, roads closed between McDermott and No. 3 Road

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Twenty-nine staff members at Sunrise Poultry Processors Ltd. in Newton have tested positive for the virus, according to an information bulletin from Fraser Health Saturday (May 8). The health authority issued a 10-day closure order, effective May 7. (Image: Google Maps)
29 staff test positive for COVID-19 at Surrey poultry processing plant

Meantime, outbreak over at Surrey Memorial Hospital

Canada’s chief public health officer is reminding Canadians even those who are fully vaccinated are not immune from transmitting the COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns full vaccination does not equal full protection from COVID-19

Post-inoculation, Theresa Tam says the risk of asymptomatic infection and transmission is far lower but not obsolete

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The dash cam footage, taken May 7 at 8:18 a.m. belonged to the driver of a southbound vehicle that recently travelled out of the tunnel. (Reddit/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Dash cam captures dramatic rollover crash on Highway 99

Only one person sustained injuries from the collision, says B.C. Ambulance Services

Chevy stranded on a ledge above a rocky canyon at Mimi Falls near Logan Lake, April 28, 2021. (Photo credit: Margot Wikjord)
Police officer and fire chief team up in risky rescue of stranded dog near Logan Lake

Chevy, a rescue dog, needed rescuing again after getting stuck on a ledge above rocky canyon

Police were on the scene of a fatal shooting in Abbotsford. (Black Press Media files)
B.C. government to give more than $8 million for programs to curb gang violence

221 not-for-profit projects led by local governments and school districts among others will receive a one-time grant

Gord Judson steers his log truck down a forest service road, using two-way radio and call signals to mark his position for oncoming traffic. (B.C. Forest Safety Council)
Planning some B.C. wilderness fishing? Don’t catch a log truck

Remote recreation areas bracing for heavy pandemic pressure

Most Read