British Columbia

Murder-suicide cause of death for B.C. couple say Saanich police

Saanich police confirmed Tuesday the deaths of two people last week in B.C. were a murder and suicide.

Family claims wife was in abusive relationship

Police are investigating the murder-suicide of a couple in Saanich, B.C. (The Canadian Press)

Saanich police confirmed Tuesday the deaths of two people last week in B.C. were a murder and suicide.

Emergency crews were called to Cordova Bay Road on April 21 after smoke was seen billowing from the home. When crews extinguished the fire, they found the bodies of a husband and wife inside the home. 

Saanich police say it was a murder-suicide, but they aren't saying how 56-year-old Juile Cox and 58-year old Peter Khurana died.

"What we can say is it would appear as though the events took place inside the home that there was a tragic incident that led to the death of one of the individuals and that the other individual appears to have taken their own life," said Sgt. Steve Eassie. 

Abusive relationship

Kelly Tarpley, Cox's brother-in-law, claims she was in an abusive relationship and tried many times to get out.

"The police made numerous, numerous trips to that residence and would haul him to the jail for a one night stay and call it a cooling off period," he said.

"Well after two or three times of that police should read the MO, this situation isn't going to change."

Khurana was convicted of assault in 2013. 

Police say they are continuing to investigate the deaths and are asking anyone with information to contact them.

Tracy Porteous, the executive director of the Ending Violence Association of B.C., says while the Capital Regional District has a highly specialized domestic violence unit, it doesn't have the resources to function properly.

"They have more cases than they have officers and counsellors that can handle them."

Porteous says seven people have already died as a result of domestic violence in B.C. so far this year.