This Nova Scotia couple died on the water — and then someone robbed their home

The family of a man who drowned in a small cove in Port Medway says their pain is now mixed with anger after someone robbed his home.

Richard Moreau's family is furious that someone would see his death as a chance to steal from him

Richard Moreau, 58, and his partner, Liz O'Connell, died May 5 after their boat capsized just off the shore of Port Medway. (Submitted by Kathy Burgess)

The family of a man who drowned in a small cove in Port Medway says their pain is now mixed with anger after someone robbed him.

Richard Moreau, 58, and his partner, Liz O'Connell, died May 5 after their boat capsized not far from shore. A few days later, the couple's home was burglarized.

"It makes me very angry," Moreau's sister Kathy Burgess said. "The whole community is angry."

Kathy Burgess says she's determined to catch the person who stole from her late brother's home in Port Medway. (CBC)

Burgess and her family went camping on the weekend in order to get away from their trauma. When they returned Sunday night, Burgess's son went to check on his late uncle's trailer.  

"He said, 'Mom I think you better come down here. Someone broke into Richie's trailer.'"

'My heart just dropped'

Burgess said the doors were wide open, with clothes and other items scattered around the home.  

"My heart just dropped," Burgess said. "I said, 'Who would do this while we were gone?'"

RCMP told her to stay in the trailer for a few days to keep would-be thieves from returning, Moreau's sister said.

It's the kind of stress Burgess said her family doesn't need in their grief. 

She recalled that her brother began fishing in the waters off Port Medway when he was 12. He and O'Connell met six years ago and his sister said the two were inseparable.

"They went everywhere together," she said. "She was the love of his life."

Moreau's family held a memorial for him and his partner by the water in Port Medway on Tuesday. (CBC)

Neatly stacked fishing traps the couple used on the water sit in their backyard. Nearby rests the green dory the couple took out when they died last week. 

Four vehicles are blocking the property's entrance. Burgess has also set up cameras to capture any movement around the trailer, saying she's determined to find out who would burglarize her dead brother's home.

A memorial

"[The thief] knew that this place was empty," she said. "He may have even known that we were gone for the weekend when he saw our camping trailer gone."

The couple's family gathered Tuesday morning for a memorial service near the water. It was a difficult day, but Burgess said she believes it brought them some closure.

As for the thieves, she has one message: "Karma is a bitch. They'll get him back."

About the Author

Preston Mulligan

Reporter

Preston Mulligan has been a reporter in the Maritimes for more than 20 years. Along with his reporting gig, he also hosts CBC Radio's Sunday phone-in show, Maritime Connection.