New Brunswick

5 victims of domestic homicide remembered in weekend run

An event this weekend at the Q-Plex in Quispamsis aims to break the silence of domestic violence in the region.

Officer with Kennebecasis Regional Police organizes Tanya Shand Memorial Milk and Cookie Run

Clockwise from left: Tanya Shand, Alice Leadlay, Cathy Bawn, Cindy Irving, and Melanie Davis are five women from the Saint John region who were killed in domestic homicides. (Facebook)
An event this weekend at the Q-Plex in Quispamsis aims to break the silence of domestic violence in the region.

The Tanya Shand Memorial Milk and Cookie Run is a five-kilometre walk or run and each leg of the race is dedicated to a woman from the Saint John region who was murdered in a domestic homicide.

The run will be held on Saturday at the Q-Plex, with a kid's run starting at 9 a.m., and the five kilometre event planned for 10 a.m.

Kilometre markers will feature photos of the five women and family members will be there to hand out water to the participants.

Shand's daughter will pass out cookies at the finish line.

McIntyre said the run will be emotional, however, she said it's important for families to attend.

"We want to bring a voice to these women since they lost their voice. And if we look at photos of them and get the opportunity to meet some of the family members, we realize this is a real issue in our community," said McIntyre.

"We need to focus more on younger children and look at building them a foundation, and teaching them about what's a healthy and unhealthy relationship … even if you're talking about friendships beginning in school."

Remembering the victims

The first kilometre of the run is dedicated to Alice Leadlay, an 80-year-old woman from Rothesay, who had dementia.

On Sept. 26, 2005, she was gagged and rolled up in a carpet by her husband and left on the living room floor overnight.

The second kilometre of the run is dedicated to Melanie Davis.

Davis, 28, from Saint John, was handcuffed and brutally stabbed over 25 times on May 10, 2010, by her estranged husband.

Her killing happened in broad daylight.

The third kilometre is dedicated to Cindy Irving. Irving, 45, from Saint John, was strangled to death by her husband on March 23.

A jury heard it would have taken considerable force to cause the injuries to her neck, face and body.

Kilometre four is dedicated to Cathy Bawn. Bawn, 50, was found dead inside a home on Red Head Road on June 30, following a double shooting.

The fifth, and final kilometre, is dedicated to Tanya Shand.

The Rothesay woman was brutally stabbed over 21 times and her throat was cut on May 22, 2013 by her ex-common law partner.

Shand's six year old daughter was present for her murder.

Const. Kelley McIntyre was one of the first officers to respond to that call.

"I don't think you can really walk away from something like that and not be affected," McIntyre, one of the organizers of the memorial run, said Friday on Information Morning Saint John.

"There's not a moment of that call I can possibly forget. It probably affects every call on every domestic I've gone on from here on in."

McIntyre said the Kennebecasis Regional Police responds to at least one call for domestic violence per day.

Money raised will be put towards school programming in the community, and financial seminars.

"We find when we go to some of these homes, that money is often an issue in some of these domestic cases, or addiction," McIntyre said.

"So that's another area we see arising, it's another area we want to focus on."

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