'Everybody’s got secrets in their life,' says murder victim's mother
Police have not yet confirmed the cause of death in case of alleged domestic violence
The mother of a Spruce Grove woman who police allege was killed by her husband says there were no signs her daughter was in danger.
The body of RiennaNagel, 36, a mother of five, was found by police at her Spruce Grove home after they received a 911 call early Saturday morning.
Nagel’s husband, Christopher Ray Nagel, 36, was taken into police custody and has been charged with first-degree murder.
While Cpl. Colette Zazulak says the charges speak to “some degree of planning or premeditation,” Nagel’s mother Sheree Zielke said there were no clear signs her daughter was in danger.
Everybody’s got secrets in their life – and if you don’t reveal them, there’s nothing that can be done.- Sheree Zielke, speaking about her daughter's death
“You just don’t know about people. You don’t know if someone is capable of violence – especially against a loved one. You don’t know, and to say there could have been some intervention – I have no clue. I can’t answer.”
Zielke says she has no idea whether anything more could have been done to protect her daughter.
“I think parents always worry, and there were times that we’d question things, but you know, nothing that would make us want to act,” she said. “Everybody’s got secrets in their life – and if you don’t reveal them, there’s nothing that can be done.”
‘I never expected to hear those words ever. Ever.’
Zielke said she was home alone Saturday when RCMP came to her door to tell her about her daughter’s death. At the time she was on the phone with Rienna's brother.
“Somebody was pounding on the door and that kind of surprised me, like ‘they must know me,’" she said. "Then I opened up the door and two men [were there].”
“They immediately flashed their RCMP badges and my eyes got big … I thought: 'Oh no, oh no.' ”
Zielke recalled she told the RCMP "don’t tell me she’s dead." One looked at her and said he was sorry to tell her that her daughter was dead and her husband being held for murder.
" I nearly fell on the floor," she said.“I never expected to hear those words ever. Ever.”
Family and friends gather to care for children
Zielke said the couple’s five children are doing "surprisingly well" and are now being well cared for by friends and family.
“I think they know, academically, what happened, but I’m not sure that it’s totally processed.”
Several funds and trusts have been set up to raise money for the family, she said, noting that $8,000 has already been put into a formal trust for the children.
You try not to think about what happened inside that house because you can’t deal with that.- Sheree Zielke
“It just keeps coming and coming and coming,” she said, explaining the money will go towards the children's education, medical needs, weddings and “whatever parents would pay for a child.”
Zielke was unable to comment on whether the children were in the home when their mother died.
“You try not to think about what happened inside that house because you can’t deal with that.”
A celebration of Nagel’s life has been scheduled for Saturday.
Police have not yet revealed the cause of death, but an autopsy will be conducted sometime this week.
Christopher Nagel is scheduled to appear in Stony Plain provincial court on Wednesday.