Earl Marriott Secondary grad Emily Caruana has been identified as the victim in a May 11 Brentwood Bay homicide. (Facebook photo)

South Surrey grad identified as Vancouver Island murder victim

Emily Caruana, 20, remembered for ‘so much joy and energy’

A young woman who graduated from Earl Marriott Secondary in South Surrey has been identified as the victim of a “very violent struggle” at a Vancouver Island home last weekend that left one woman dead and two people in serious condition.

Court documents reveal 20-year-old Emily Caruana was killed in the May 11 incident; charged with first-degree murder is 47-year-old Alan Charles Chapman.

Police were called to a Meadow Lark Lane home in Brentwood Bay at about 12:30 a.m. Saturday after reports of a disturbance.

Josh Haymes, a neighbour from down the street, said that he was pulling into his driveway when the altercation was happening.

Haymes said that as he ran toward the house calling 911, a man ran out of the house and jumped into a white car and “almost ran him over” as he drove away.

The following morning, Central Saanich police confirmed an altercation had occurred in the Brentwood Bay home and one man was in police custody.

Chief Const. Les Sylven said it was believed the incident was not random, but didn’t provide any additional details on cause of death or injuries.

Forensics and police officers – including the Vancouver Island Major Crimes Unit – were on scene investigating in the days following the incident.

Around 7:40 a.m. Saturday, a woman sped into a driveway neighbouring the house that stood behind police tape in the quiet cul-de-sac where the incident occurred.

The woman was hysterical as she got out of her car and ran to the front of the house.

“She was innocent,” the woman screamed as she collapsed to the ground.

In a Facebook tribute, Caruana is described as someone who “always brightened my day.”

“I remember meeting Emily Caruana on my first day at Air Cadets many years ago, she spotted me in the corner all shy and silent, and welcomed me with so much joy and energy,” writes Victoria Kim, a fellow EMS grad. “I still have not forgotten, and will never forget the love and acceptance I felt from her at that moment.”

A GoFundMe page set up by Caruana’s aunt, Cindy Lee Sonier reads: “Our Caruana family was hit with unexpected tragedy after a violent struggle in their childhood home. We lost our only niece and my husband is recovering from surgery to save his life in hospital.”

Sonier told Peace Arch News that Caruana graduated EMS in 2016, and did her associate degree in arts for future teachers at Douglas College.

“She worked so hard and finished her last semester with As and A+… was accepted into University of British Columbia for the fall,” Sonier told PAN Wednesday by email.

“She told me last week she wanted to be an English high school teacher.”

As of Wednesday morning, more than $14,000 had been donated to the campaign, which is aiming to raise $30,000 to help with Caruana’s funeral costs and accommodations for family members displaced by the tragedy.

One donor who describes knowing Caruana throughout high school, says she remembers her as someone whose “sincere kindness gave her a tremendous gift for making others feel accepted and included.”

“I will always cherish her memory and the impact that she had in my life,” writes Alanah Joy.

A post from Laura, Jeff, Grady and Annika Kendall details how Caruana had cared for the family’s two young children for the past 18 months.

“My children adored her. I adored her,” the post states, describing a young woman who has “been an integral part of our lives since she came into our lives.”

“Last week she reorganized the kids’ playroom and I haven’t been able to go in there since learning of her death on Saturday.”

Tuesday, a lone police cruiser and plainclothes officer stood outside the red-and-white house. It remained sealed off with police tape; a white car was parked in the driveway. The curtains were drawn and the house quiet, with no sign of forensics teams or any activity.

Chapman appeared before a tele-bail hearing Saturday and was expected back in court Wednesday (May 15) in Victoria.

Sylven asked members of the public with any information to contact the Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit at 250-380-6200.

– with files from Tracy Holmes

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

 

Central Saanich Police investigate a murder at a home in Brentwood Bay on Saturday. (Keri Coles/Victoria News)

Just Posted

Fire truck, police car hit in chain of crashes on Hwy. 99 in South Surrey

‘People weren’t paying attention,’ says Surrey assistant fire chief

Chilliwack man who sexually assaulted young boys released from prison

Statutory release for Don Putt who Parole Board calls an ‘untreated sex offender’

Greedy family’s maid overcomes them all in Surrey Little Theatre’s latest play

‘The Late Christopher Bean’ is staged at Clayton-area theatre for a month starting Jan. 23

Two-vehicle crash leads to argument in South Surrey

Police investigating after one driver left the scene

Surrey man charged in 2019 Vancouver homicide

Chad Harry, 32, charged with second-degree murder in killing of 35-year-old Cong Tran

Kids across Canada more at risk of hospitalization from flu this season: doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam said influenza B does not usually peak until February or later

Closed mills, housing surge support a positive forecast for lumber industries

B.C. lumber producers have closed mills accounting for 18% of province’s capacity, RBC report says

Good Samaritan pays part of rent for B.C. woman facing eviction in can-collecting dispute

Zora Hlevnjak, 76, supplements her pension by collecting cans and receiving public donations

Should winter tires be mandatory in the Lower Mainland?

ICBC dial-a-claims go up as winter storm takes toll

Canada Post driver in hospital after ice smashes windshield at Massey Tunnel

Incident happened on Richmond side of the Massey Tunnel

Abbotsford bank ATM robbery thwarted by woman standing her ground

Police arrest alleged known robber running down South Fraser wearing balaclava

Kelowna’s ‘Baby Mary’ finds biological parents after more than 30 years

Geneologist and DNA test helped her connect with her biological parents

Kelowna hotel to award couples for baby-making with Nooner deal

The deal includes a free stay every Valentine’s Day for the next 18 years

Dad of missing Abbotsford woman charged after allegedly exposing himself in park

Barry Shpeley charged with sexual assault and assault

Most Read