Edmonton

Colleen Sillito's family questions RCMP's role in failing to protect her

The family of murder victim Colleen Sillito paid tribute to her life at a memorial on Friday, while trying to cope with the knowledge that she lived in fear for the last year.

'I never imagined something like this would happen,' says brother of murder victim

Fort Saskatchewan resident Colleen Sillito was murdered Oct. 2. (Facebook)

Colleen Sillito's family honoured her life at a memorial on Friday, while trying to cope with the knowledge that she lived in fear for a year before she was murdered by her ex-boyfriend.

They say they have questions about why the RCMP failed to protect her.

Sillito, 46, was shot to death Oct. 2 in her driveway outside her home in Fort Saskatchewan, northeast of Edmonton. The body of her ex-boyfriend, Paul Joseph Jacob, was also found at the scene. RCMP say it was a murder-suicide.

Jonathan Sillito said he knew his older sister was worried about her ex-boyfriend, and she even went so far as to apply for a restraining order. But he said he had no idea how much danger she was in.  

"I knew things were difficult with Paul," he said before the memorial. "But I never imagined something like this would happen."

Colleen and Jacob dated for four years. By the time they broke up in January, she was a afraid for her life.

Jacob was charged with assault in June 2014, when he threatened to kill Colleen with a knife.

She obtained a restraining order, but her brother said RCMP made it difficult for her.

"It seemed like it took a lot of effort on her part to get the police to co-operate and to take her seriously," he said.

The court issued a peace bond in June 2015. Jacob pleaded guilty to violating it three months later and paid a $500 fine.

Jonathan Sillito, younger brother of Colleen Sillito, raised questions about his sister's death before a memorial held in her honour on Friday. (CBC)
The Sillito family has asked for an inquiry into Colleen's murder to learn more about how she died.

Her brother said the family believes RCMP confiscated Jacob's firearms, but they were returned before the murder. He said as far as the family knows, Jacob killed Colleen with his legally owned firearms.

"Why was he armed? We don't know the answer to that," Sillito said.

The peace bond did not include a weapons restriction.

Sillito hopes the lessons learned from his sister's death can save the life of someone else.

"It wouldn't bring Colleen back but it would bring some consolation," he said.

Colleen was the second oldest of seven siblings, and had five children of her own. Her brother said the memorial Friday was meant to celebrate the years they had with her.

He thinks she'd like to be remembered as an artist, and a loving and accepting mother who lived life to the fullest in the time she had.

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