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ANGLEMONT - The motive behind a murder-suicide three years ago in a small Shuswap community remains a mystery following the release of a coroner's report into the deaths.
Emergency personnel were called to a residence in Anglemont April 30, 2013, where they found Tracy Lynn Nichol, 45, and a 15-year-old Christian Robert Tallick dead. At the time, police called the incident a murder suicide but did not comment on the relationship between the people or who killed who.
In a report released this week on the deaths, coroner Margaret Janzen says Nichol was Tallick’s step mother, and that he had come to live with her and his father nine days earlier.
Nichol, her spouse and Tallick spent the morning together uneventfully, Janzen says in her report. Nichol's husband left at roughly 11 a.m. to run some errands and when he returned at 4:30 p.m., he found Nichol dead in the laundry room after suffering multiple sharp force injuries, and his son dead in the master bedroom with a semi-automatic handgun partially resting on his right hand and gunshot wounds to his head.
“Investigation revealed that the stepson had killed Ms. Nichol with a machete and then committed suicide by shooting himself in the head,” Janzen said.
The handgun belonged to his stepmother and was kept loaded in a night table in the master bedroom. The investigation did not reveal any reason for the homicide.
“There was no known conflict with his step mother and there had been no known previous violence between them. He had known her for most of his life and had stayed with his father and step mother numerous times,” Janzen said.
Tallick was not receiving medical treatment or prescription medications and there had been no report with the Ministry of Child and Family Development in B.C., or its equivalent in Alberta, where Tallick had been living previously with family.
“Family members reported that Christian was usually non-violent but in Calgary he had been involved with illicit drugs and had been in a fight in which he broke a finger. They also reported that he was trying to get away from that lifestyle and that his move to B.C. was at least partially to assist with that,” Janzen said.
Janzen found that Nichol died of multiple sharp force injuries and classified the death as a homicide. She noted her finding does not imply fault or blame.
With regards to Tallick’s death, she said he sustained two self-inflicted gun shot wounds to the head, the first of which was non-lethal. Toxicology analysis revealed a low level of alcohol. She classified his death as a suicide and made no recommendations.
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