Five years after Wendy Ladner-Beaudry's body was found off a trail in Vancouver's Pacific Spirit Park, the Integrated Homicide Investigations Team has announced it is turning the case over to the RCMP's Major Crimes Special Projects Unit.
'It opens up a hole in our lives that stares back at us every day.' — Peter Ladner
IHIT spokeswoman Sgt. Jennifer Pound says the motive for Ladner-Beaudry's murder remains a mystery.
"To date there are still no suspects in this investigation and a motive has yet to be identified," she said at a news conference to mark the fifth anniversary of Ladner-Beaudry's death. "Our priority is to identify a motive and to identify suspects and to ask the public for help in bringing information forward."
"We don’t typically have many of our investigations where we don’t have a motive — where we can’t walk into it and come up with a working theory on what took place," said Pound.
"There are a high number of persons of interest we need to talk to and that we still need to identify and a high number of those individuals are transient."
The 53-year-old mother of two is believed to have been attacked while jogging in the southeast part of the wooded park.
Brother remembers sister
Ladner-Beaudry's brother, former Vancouver city councillor Peter Ladner, fought back tears and his voice broke as he told the media he wanted to start by paying tribute to his sister, "who would have had her 58th birthday last Sunday."
Ladner said a loss like this at the hands of another is hard for anyone to take.
"It opens up a hole in our lives that stares back at us every day," he said, reading from a script he'd prepared.
"Someone else made a decision to end her life. Someone felt they could brutally take her life without the slightest idea of how that senseless act would destroy the peace and calm Wendy did so much to create around us all."
"Her husband Michel will never have his life partner back," said Ladner. "He will never hug the love of his life again. The hole in his life is bigger than anyone’s."
"Wendy, what we have learned, was a true victim — killed by an unmotivated, random attack, which makes this an incredibly difficult crime to solve."
No arrests have been made in the case and police have never said how Ladner-Beaudry was killed.
Her husband, Michel Beaudry, was ruled out as a suspect in June 2009.
Pound said one of the reasons they've turned the investigations over to RCMP's Major Crime Special Projects Unit is that it will free up resources for a more focused investigation.
She says IHIT has only six teams.
"The team handling her investigation has, since the crime, undertaken 35 murder investigations," Pound said. "The amount of work required on this file is an anomaly.
Neighbours still cautious in park
A poster requesting information in the case remains at the park entrance at 41st and Camosun.
People running and walking in Pacific Spirit Park this week said the killing still looms large in their minds.
Danna Marks said it took her three years to start running on her own in the park again.
"I'm careful to pick times when I know that there's people in the park," said Marks. "I usually bring my dog. I didn't use the park for a long time and it's a shame. I use it now, and I stay on the main trails."
Tristan Taylor was a student at Southland Elementary School, not far from the crime scene, at the time of the homicide.
"I've never felt threatened walking through parks," said Taylor. "I do give people advice just not to walk through here at night."
Four years ago, police produced and released a YouTube video about Ladner-Beaudry's death in the hopes of generating more tips.