British Columbia

Police haven't caught his sister's killer, so Ed Peterson is trying to solve the case himself

Ed Peterson doesn’t want to talk in the common area of the temporary modular housing complex where he lives in Surrey.

Ed Peterson's sister, Janice Shore, was beaten and left to die in Surrey, B.C., in December 2012

Ed Peterson leans on his walker at his home in Surrey, B.C. (Jesse Johnston/CBC)

Ed Peterson doesn't want to talk in the common area of the temporary modular housing complex where he lives in Surrey.

"Come over here," he said. "I want to show you something."

His legs are sore, swollen and freshly bandaged from a recent injury, so he needs a walker to make it to the window. When he gets there, Peterson, 59, points to the vacant lot across the street and cries.

"That's where it happened," he said. "She was lying right there."

For nearly seven years, Peterson has tried to do what police haven't been able to — bring his sister's killer to justice.

Now, he fears he's running out of time.

"Hopefully, someday, I'll get closure before I die, which might not be that far away," he said.

"My health is failing."

Janice Shore, 45, died in the hospital on Feb.18, 2013, two-and-half months after she was found badly beaten in Surrey. (Nightshift Ministries)

'How helpless he must feel'

Janice Shore, a tiny woman with a squeaky voice, was badly beaten and left to die under a tree near 135A Street and 106 Avenue in the Whalley neighbourhood on December 2, 2012.

Shore, 45, spent more than two months in a coma before she died from her injuries on Feb. 18, 2013, leaving behind two brothers and three grown children.

"I miss her so much," Peterson said. "I wish she was here to comfort me."

After Shore's death, Peterson turned into a detective, interviewing everyone he ran into.

MaryAnne Connor, a family friend who runs the outreach organization Nightshift Ministries, says Peterson came by every day to ask people for information.

"He was tenacious about sitting there and taking notes," Connor said.

Ed Peterson can see the vacant lot where his sister, Janice Shore, was beaten and left to die through a window near his room. (Jesse Johnston/CBC)

The weight

After years of sifting through rumours and whispers, Peterson developed a theory about who is responsible for his sister's death.

He keeps most of what he's learned to himself because it's largely based on hearsay and the person he believes is responsible for Shore's death, who is still at large, is dangerous.

Peterson also doesn't think the case is a top priority for police. "The police had a pretty good idea of who did it," he said.

"This is a very violent person and if there's ever a charge laid, I'd be surprised."

Cpl. Frank Jang, a spokesperson for the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team, says investigators are still trying to find Shore's killer.

"The case remains an ongoing investigation and will never be closed until those responsible are brought to justice," Jang said.

"It only takes one solid piece of information to reignite an investigation and we are hoping that those in the know will finally come forward."  

MaryAnne Connor, who runs NightShift Ministries in Surrey, B.C., was Janice Shore's friend. (Jesse Johnston/CBC)

Missing Janice

Shore, who had mental health issues, moved to Surrey as a young woman after she was released from Riverview Hospital and grew close to her brother.

The pair became so inseparable that people often mistook them for a married couple.

Shore was often seen panhandling and collecting bottles in Whalley, but she wasn't homeless. Peterson says they had a nice life together, sharing a home in a social housing complex in Whalley.

Peterson says they always ate well, especially when Shore made her favourite food — French toast.

"She'd make enough to feed 20 people," he said. "Best roommate I ever had."

Whenever Peterson looks out the window at the lot where Shore was killed, which is often, he thinks about their home, their meals and whether an arrest will ever be made.

Peterson believes he knows the story behind his sister's death — and police do, too — but he fears he'll be gone before anyone can prove it.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.