Surrey teacher found dead in Coquitlam townhouse; brother charged with murder

Surrey teacher found dead in Coquitlam townhouse; brother charged with murder

SURREY — The brother of a slain Surrey school teacher has been charged with second-degree murder in her death.

Jarek Paderewski, 27, of Coquitlam, is charged in the death of his sister, Maja Paderewska, 33. Paderewska was a business and economics teacher at North Surrey Secondary school.

The suspect made his first appearance in court Monday and was held for a further date.

Surrey school district spokesman Doug Strachan said students and staff at North Surrey Secondary were remembering Paderewska on Tuesday and a memorial had been set up in the school Tuesday morning.


Sgt. Adam MacIntosh with IHIT said investigators are still trying to determine the motive for the murder and are looking at a number of considerations, including whether mental illness played a role.

"These types of crimes … don’t happen very often," he said, noting the courts will ultimately decide whether mental illness was a factor in the murder.

Emergency crews were called to the home, in a Coquitlam townhouse complex at 2951 Panorama Dr., around 3 p.m. Sunday for a person in medical distress.

When crews arrived, they found the body of a woman inside the home. Jarek Paderewski was arrested at the scene.

IHIT said the 27-year-old lived there with his parents, who were not home at the time. The victim did not live in the townhouse.

IHIT also said police did not know Jarek Paderewski. Investigators wouldn’t disclose a possible murder weapon, but MacIntosh indicated police have an idea of what occurred in the home.

For residents living in the townhouse complex, word of the murder and the sight of police tape in their quiet neighbourhood was a surprise.

Maureen St. Louis has been living in the complex for eight years and was stunned to learn about the murder. She said she never spoke with, or saw, the people who lived in Unit 11, where the incident took place, and wasn’t home at the time. St. Louis said many people stick to themselves in the complex.

"It’s such a quiet complex. Everyone hides behind their garage doors," St. Louis said.

While she’s not concerned for her safety, she does want to know what happened at the home.

Gail Decker moved into the complex about a year ago, and lives a few doors down from the murder scene. She also wasn’t home at the time of the incident, but did come home to find fire trucks and police cars right in front of her door.

Decker had seen the couple living at the home a few times, describing them as middle-aged and possible Eastern European, but never had the chance to speak to them. She had planned to be friendlier with her neighbours this summer.

Decker also described the complex as "quiet" and to a lesser extent was surprised to hear about the murder.

"You know, it can happen anywhere," she said.

With files from Christopher Poon