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Murdered woman's family hear of death through media

Family members of Roxanne Louie found about her murder yesterday through a news story.
Image Credit: contributed
January 13, 2015 - 5:18 PM

PENTICTON - The family of Roxanne Louie continues to feel shock and pain today after hearing of her death yesterday, allegedly at the hands of Grace and Pier Robotti.

What has compounded the tragedy for Louie’s family how they heard of her death—not from police, but through media reports—which was almost as painful as hearing of the death itself, says Laurie Wilson, media spokesperson for the family. She said they were put through unnecessary heartache and pain.

Wilson was a asked by the family to act as media representative because Louie’s father, Roger Hall, was having difficulty finding the time to field media calls and follow up rumours from Louie’s disappearance on Jan. 4.

“He went to the RCMP and told them to talk to me, so he wouldn’t have to deal with rumours and false information,” Wilson says. “They didn’t do that.”

Wilson said she was in contact with RCMP yesterday,  and was given no indication that the case was about to break. She even checked at the courthouse for information, unaware that Louie’s accused murderers were making an appearance sometime yesterday morning.

“The family didn’t know anything about that,” she says. “The icing on the cake was when the media broke the story to the family. A reporter called Roger to ask him how he felt about his daughter’s murder.... I don’t know whether it’s sensationalism, disdain, or not caring about people, between the media doing that and the RCMP not even giving the family a heads up this was coming.”

Wilson says even though she understands the limitations police work under as well as the dynamics of the press, she feels there has to be line drawn when it comes to having a family find out such terrible news this way.

“My God, this was someone’s daughter who was murdered, and there was an indignity done to the body as well. If I had known, I could have prepared the family. The media and the RCMP have put this family through a lot of unnecessary pain and suffering."

“I’m disappointed in the police. They could have phoned and given some indication of what to expect. The RCMP have to try to protect the family from this type of trauma. It’s about very basic humanity, and it’s completely unacceptable.”

Sgt. Rick Dellebuur, media spokesperson for the Penticton RCMP, said police spoke to Louie’s family, and they have an understanding about what happened yesterday.

“We’ve talked to both sides of the family and explained what we could,” he said, noting the case is still under active investigation and not all the circumstances can yet be revealed.

Dellebuur said the case developed so quickly yesterday police only had a 15-minute window to lay charges.

“With timelines and circumstances being what they were, we couldn’t control everything. We can’t control what happens in court,” he added, noting if a member of the public or a reporter happened to be in the courthouse at the right time, they would be in a position to find out what was going on.

“Once a case goes before the court, it’s open to the public," he said. “We are making ourselves available to the family and have discussed this matter with them. They have come to an understanding and appreciation for what happened."

To contact the reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad at sarstad@infonews.ca or call 250-488-3065. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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