PEI

With their home trashed by vandals, N.B. couple at a loss about what to do next 

A New Brunswick family says they’re at a complete loss about what to do next after discovering their home had been broken into and trashed while they were living on P.E.I.

‘They obviously were very thorough going through everything in the house'

Meaghan Law, her partner Keith Reid, and their two children, Bryce, four, and Melody, five months old, were shocked by what they found when they returned to their home in Napadogan, N.B. (Wayne Thibodeau/CBC)

A New Brunswick family says they're at a complete loss about what to do next after discovering their home had been broken into and trashed while they were living on P.E.I.

Keith Reid and his partner Meaghan Law said their home may be beyond repair.

Reid, who is a heritage stone mason, moved his family — including Law and their two children, Bryce, four years old, and Melody, five months old — to P.E.I. after he was hired to work on the restoration at historic Province House in Charlottetown.

The couple was travelling back and forth to Napadogan, N.B., a remote rural community about an hour north of Fredericton.

But COVID-19 restrictions and a new baby cut back the number of times they could travel.

They checked on the house in late July, and everything was fine.

But what they found when they returned to the house earlier this month left them devastated. 

Meghan Law says the culprits were very thorough in going through everything in the house. (Meaghan Law)

"We went inside and it was just a mess," Reid said during an interview from their Stratford, P.E.I. apartment.

Law added: "They went through everything in the house."

Every room in the house was trashed.

Copper wiring and pipes were ripped from the home. 

A truck parked outside, which the family used for hauling wood, was flipped on its side and its catalytic converter stolen.  

A camper on the lot was also damaged. 

"They obviously were very thorough going through everything in the house. They trashed everything," said Law. 

Howard, a longtime family pet, died two years ago, just before the couple moved to P.E.I. A portrait of the beloved family dog hangs in their apartment in Stratford, P.E.I. (Kirk Pennell/CBC)

'He was my best friend'

But what hurt the most was what was missing from their bedroom: their beloved dog's ashes. 

Howard, a longtime family pet, died two years ago, just before the couple moved to P.E.I. 

The couple had a paw print made and had the dog cremated. His ashes were in their bedroom.

But not anymore. 

"It was really hard losing him and I don't want to lose him twice," said Law. "He was my best friend."

The couple is hopeful the dog's ashes may be somewhere in the debris, which is spread throughout the house. 

The couple was travelling back and forth to Napadogan, N.B., a remote rural community an hour north of Fredericton. (CBC News Graphics)

New Brunswick RCMP say they are investigating the break-in.

But police conceded that given the huge time frame between when the house was last checked, and when the break-in was discovered — a four-month period — it may be a difficult crime to solve. 

Investigators are asking anybody with information to reach out to them. 

The family is not able to put a price tag on the damage because they still don't know if the home can be saved. They were told by police and a local contractor it could be beyond repair.

Moisture has now gotten into the house, causing mould to form throughout the structure.  

They were not insured. 

The family's home is pictured before it was vandalized. The couple has set up a GoFundMe page in hopes of raising money to help them repair their home, which they had planned to return to. (Meaghan Law)

'We've got an amazing response'

Law said they don't know what to do next.

The couple has set up a GoFundMe page in hopes of raising some money to help them repair their home, which they had planned to return to once the work at Province House wraps up. 

Reid said he's still holding out hope that can still happen. He said he's been overwhelmed by the response they've received so far from friends, family, co-workers and complete strangers.

"We've got an amazing response from people so far, actually more than we ever anticipated," he said. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Wayne Thibodeau

Prince Edward Island

Wayne Thibodeau is a reporter/editor with CBC Prince Edward Island. He has worked as a reporter, editor, photographer and video journalist in print, digital and TV for more than 20 years. He can be reached at Wayne.Thibodeau@CBC.ca

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