Saint John Police face questions over secrecy
Serena Perry, 22, was found dead at a Saint John hospital two weeks ago
Two weeks after a 22-year-old woman was found dead at the Saint John Regional Hospital, the police are facing questions over the secrecy surrounding the investigation.
Serena Perry was a patient in the hospital's psychiatric unit and her body was found in the hospital’s amphitheatre. The Saint John Police acknowledged on Feb. 14 they were investigating a suspicious death but have released very little information since.
CBC News has reported the investigation focuses on two male suspects, who were also patients in the psychiatric unit. The suspects, aged 17 and 18, were questioned by police, then returned to the psychiatric section, where they remain.
However, the police have still not confirmed the victim's name, how she died, or whether there are any suspects in Perry’s death.
Julian Sher, a veteran crime and justice reporter, said police forces must disclose a minimum amount of information.
Sher, who dealt with the Saint John police force while working for the Globe and Mail during the Richard Oland murder investigation, said the city police are failing to reveal basic details about their investigations.
"I don't think I've ever encountered a police force that was so tight-lipped and absolutely refusing to disclose even the most basic information," Sher said.
The Saint John Police have also faced scrutiny for the secrecy surrounding Oland's homicide investigation.
The Saint John Police turned down a request for an interview again on Wednesday to discuss the status of the investigation.
However, a police spokesperson did say they are still waiting for a pathology report and "may" have more information to release once it lands in the hands of investigators.
The lack of details about the Perry investigation is not concerning to some Saint John residents who were in the hospital on Wednesday.
Marsha Bensen said she understands these investigations can take time.
"And to give information too soon can do a lot of damage and really not be accurate, so I'd rather they took their time with it and got their facts straight," Bensen said.
And Brian Marr said these stories are best left in the privacy of families.
"It's between the family and stuff. Do they want their mess out in the open? Not really. Are the police handling it? I'm sure they are. They do a good job whenever I call them," Marr said.