Mounties scour Vancouver park for clues in jogger's killing

Dozens of RCMP homicide investigators continued to search a heavily forested urban park in Vancouver's west side on Monday, looking for clues in the killing of a jogger.
Wendy Ladner-Beaudry was killed in a park near her home Friday afternoon. ((CBC))
Dozens of RCMP homicide investigators continued to scour a heavily forested urban park in Vancouver's west side on Monday, searching for clues in the killing of a jogger.  

Wendy Ladner-Beaudry, 53, a member of one of the city's most prominent families, was last seen jogging on a trail near the University of British Columbia on Friday. Her body was found later that day, at about 2:40 p.m. PT, near Pacific Spirit Regional Park, close to SW Marine Drive and Camosun Street.

While a number of indigent people have made the park home, police are saying little about the crime or the cause of death.

"The one thing we're trying to determine is whether this was a random act of violence. We're not able to eliminate that at this point," RCMP Cpl. Peter Thiessen said Monday.

Thiessen advised joggers not to run alone or in secluded areas, and cautioned against wearing headphones, which can block out outdoor sounds.

On Monday, Ladner-Beaudry's husband, Michel Beaudry, described her killing as a huge blow for his family and a loss for the community.

He said his wife lived the Olympic motto: swifter, higher, stronger.

"It was an expression of her basic principles that the mind and the body aren't separate — you can't have one healthy part of your body and another part not healthy. So for her, the sports was just an expression of her joy of living."

As well as being a high-performance athlete most of her life, Beaudry said, his wife was a dedicated volunteer, helping women at a local food bank get running shoes so they could participate in an annual charity run.

He said his wife made daily solo runs in Pacific Spirit Park.

"She always went in there knowing she was a woman and had to be careful, and that there were risks. This was not someone who went into anything blindly."

Peter Ladner said his sister's slaying 'will only strengthen our desire to make this city a safe place for all our citizens — especially for women.'
His wife would have been the first one to organize a run in the park after such a killing to show her lack of intimidation, Beaudry said.

Ladner-Beaudry was the great-granddaughter of the founder of the Vancouver suburb of Ladner.

Her brother Peter was a candidate in the city's mayoral race last year.

"Wendy's murder will only strengthen our desire to make this city a safe place for all our citizens — especially for women," Ladner said.

B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell, who grew up in the neighbourhood where Ladner-Beaudry was slain, expressed his condolences to the family.

"Your heart just sinks when you hear that kind of thing happening," he said. "My main thoughts are with the family. I'm not sure how people get through, but I know they will. All of our thoughts are with them, our prayers are with them.

"You know, I lived next door to this park for most of my life. I travelled through it and, you know, my wife ran through and my kids and I used to go walk through it, so it really takes away a lot from the community and we have to get to the bottom of it."

Campbell said he felt "heartsick for the whole family, and to think that happens to someone who's so vibrant and so vital, it takes your breath away because, it's just — you can't put words to it."