Father of slain Kelowna teen wants people to learn from his son's death - InfoNews

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Father of slain Kelowna teen wants people to learn from his son's death

Robyn Iain Beaquregard lost his son Eli this weekend. Now he wants other teens to learn from his son's decisions.
July 02, 2019 - 5:20 PM

KELOWNA - Elijah-Iain Beauregard had been living on Kelowna’s streets and finding refuge in the youth shelter on Richter Street for about three months as of Thursday, the day he was fatally stabbed near the downtown Bank of Montreal building.

His housing situation wasn't ideal but his dad Robyn-Iain Beauregard said Eli, 16, was content with the choices he was making.

“I just talked to him six days before this happened. I asked him; ‘do you need money, how are you doing? where are you staying?” Robyn said.

“He said ‘I’m at the youth shelter in downtown Kelowna. They’re feeding me and they’re clothing me, anything I want, it’s there.’”

Robyn told him, that as long as he was happy, healthy and everything was good, they’d just wait until he had a change of heart and was ready to come home. Eli was always welcome at home.

Robyn and Eli’s mom had already tried another tack. Eli’s mom had tried to chase him down and lure him back home, but Eli was having none of it. Robyn thought it was just a phase and would work itself out in due time.  Eli, after all, was a good kid. He wasn't on drugs and other than ADHD, he had no diagnosed mental health issues.

“He was the type of kid that teachers wanted in their classroom. They'd always say he had a great smile and a great spirit. He may not have done all the work he was supposed to, but he was a presence they wanted around,” said Robyn. 

He thinks Eli was just testing his boundaries like he had when he was young.

“I think a lot of teenagers are looking for freedom,” Robyn said.

“They want to get away from their home and explore and learn and become their own person, and I think the draw of the streets can be enough to throw away a lot of good things in their life.”

It’s a mistake he doesn’t want to see other kids make, knowing all too well how dangerous street life can be.

“The street life may look (appealing), a fun place to go, but if you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time it could take two seconds and it could be the end of your life,” he said, adding that he'd had a conversation about this very thing with his son. Eli had reassured him that he was around people he could trust.

Robyn can’t say much about what happened to his son June 27.

He’s been told that Eli was with some friends, who were homeless, and they were hanging out near the parking garage at BMO. That's when he was stabbed.

Robyn lives in Calgary and got the call about the stabbing at around 1 a.m. He thought it was just going to be an injury to his son's arm. When he got to the hospital the next day, he realized that Eli was in much worse condition. He’d been put into a medically induced coma and his arm had to be amputated. He was clinging to life.

In very short order, he said, they learned that Eli suffered extreme brain damage and wouldn’t make it.

He died over the weekend.

Robyn was angry at first, but not now. Now he's numb and trying to make decisions that would make Eli proud.

There are rumours about who and why, circulating, but he’s leaving that to the police to deal with. They will release information in due course, Robyn said, adding that charges are likely pending.

“I just want justice for my son,” he said, adding that justice will be found through the courts. Not on the streets, as some of Eli’s peers might believe.

That’s why, on Tuesday, he went to the youth shelter on Richter Street  to speak to his friends. He doesn't want his son's death to turn into something worse. 

He also wants to get some more information on why he was there.

“I don’t know what it was that drew him out here, but something was profound enough to make him want to be here,” he said. “That’s part of why I want to talk to his friends I want to know what that draw was. It makes no sense to me what that draw was."

There will be a Penticton funeral and vigil for Eli this week. Sunday there will be a candlelight vigil in Kelowna. Details have yet to be finalized. 

To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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