Murder-suicide findings delayed as coroner looks for similarities following second Victoria incident

The release of the findings of a coroner’s report into the murder-suicide of a Cadboro Bay couple in January will be delayed until the report into another murder-suicide is complete.

Erich and Kathy Mueller were both found dead in their home on Jan. 18 in the 3900-block of Cadboro Bay Rd.

Saanich police, at the time, said details about the deaths – including how each died and who was murdered – would only be released by the B.C. Coroners Service.

Matt Brown, regional coroner for Vancouver Island, says their investigation is complete, but because there was a murder-suicide in Langford on May 2, they “pause for a moment” to see if anything can be learned from the two separate incidents.

“Both (murder-suicides) had some similarities. What we wanted to do was … look if there’s anything from a research or investigative or public safety standpoint that we needed to consider,” Brown said.

Two days after they were found, West Shore RCMP said Peter Scheeren killed his wife Shirley with a knife, then took his own life with a knife.

Saanich police Sgt. Dean Jantzen said they didn’t release similar information following the Muellers’ deaths because it wasn’t deemed appropriate to do so.

“A large part of that has to do with our communication with family members and their wishes,” he said. “Many factors are taken into consideration, and we often have discretion on what we do and don’t release, especially in an instance where there is no threat for public safety.”

Saanich police said mental health issues may have played a role in the Muellers’ deaths, while West Shore RCMP have not commented on whether either of the Scheerens had suffered from mental illness, ill health or any form of dementia.

– with files from Goldstream Gazette

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