UPDATE: Dad charged in Christmas day deaths of his young daughters

#BREAKING: The father of two young girls found murdered on Christmas Day has been charged in their deaths.

Andrew Robert Douglas Berry, 43, was arrested Dec. 25 and has now been charged with two counts of second degree murder.

No other information is being released at this time as the matter is before the courts.

“From the moment the Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit arrived, they have been compassionate, professional, and diligent,” stated Ray Bernoties, Deputy Chief of the Oak Bay Police Department.

“We’ve been engaged with them throughout this investigation and we’re very grateful for their tireless effort.”

More to come…

***

The police tape is gone from the scene of the Christmas Day double homicide in Oak Bay but the pile of flowers for Chloe, 6, and Aubrey Berry, 4, continues to grow. The community waits for answers as the investigation proceeds, but no charges have yet been laid.

The Integrated Major Crime Unit (VIMCU) who took over the investigation has released few details, the last press release citing the Federal Privacy Act as the reason for the silence. The Act prevents them from releasing names and details of those involved unless charges have been laid.

“At this time there are no updates to provide, however, this investigation remains of the highest priority,” said Cpl. Tammy Douglas on Tuesday (Jan. 3). “We are continuing to work to provide answers and understand how events unfolded. We will continue to serve to the best of our abilities and will provide updates where we are able as the investigation proceeds.”

On Christmas Day, Chloe and Aubrey were in the care of their father at his apartment on the corner of Beach Drive and Goodwin Street. The children were supposed to go home to their mother’s house on Christmas afternoon but they never arrived. Their mother Sarah Cotton contacted the Oak Bay Police, who responded to Berry’s apartment where the bodies of the two girls were found. An injured man, believed to be the father but not yet confirmed by police, was found with them and was taken to hospital. Details on his injuries have not been released.

The Oak Bay community has been rocked by the tragedy. In its wake, churches opened their doors to mourners, and professionals offer advice on how to talk to children affected by the tragedy.

The community has sought strength from each other and displayed an “incredible show of support” for the sisters’ mom, Sarah Cotton, when an estimated 2,000 people gathered for a candlelight vigil at Willows Beach on Saturday (Dec. 30) to honour the lives of Chloe and Aubrey.

The community also showed love and support for first responders that had to work the Christmas Day tragedy. A fund was set up to nourish them through this difficult time.

“It was kind of a grassroots idea that was bred from many community members that we were concerned and caring about the police, fire and ambulance that had to attend and see those little girls,” said Oak Bay resident and organizer Sarah Johnston. “We decided to create a fund that the community could donate to, and have food sent to police and fire every day for a week or so while they’re dealing with the immediate interim when they might forget to take care of themselves, which is what first responders do.”

In addition to the food, the fund also raised $1,400 in cash. Upon receiving the money from the community, Oak Bay Police Department and Oak Bay Fire Department passed it on to the 3rd Victoria Sparks where Chloe attended.

“Two of our finest officers just presented to the Sparks group a couple weeks ago and they met Chloe. The 3rd Victoria Sparks are a great organization who are helping develop our community’s young girls into outstanding leaders,” said Oak Bay Police on social media. “Thanks again everybody. You can know that your donation not only helped your local Police and Fire Dept, but will now go on to help many local young girls.”


 

keri.coles@oakbaynews.com

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

EDITORIAL: Truth has to lead politicians online

The public deserves accountability and professionalism from its politicians

Discontent City argues that it’s keeping occupants safe

Hearing continuing today, July 18, at B.C. Supreme Court in Nanaimo

Island fire chief urges residents to respect fire ban

Prohibition on recreational fires went into effect today at noon

UPDATED: Cougar shot by police in Nanaimo

Shooting occurred in water at Nanaimo Yacht Club at about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday

VIDEO: Trudeau shuffles familiar faces, adds new ones to expanded cabinet

Justin Trudeau shuffles his front bench Wednesday to install the roster of ministers that will be entrusted with leading the Liberal team into next year’s election.

Canadian Tire delivers toys to ease kids’ street play pain in B.C. neighbourhood

It’s like Christmas for 11 kids who are supposed to be confined to their yards by strata bylaw

Wildfires erupt in B.C. Okanagan forcing evacuation orders and a highway closure

Check out a list of up-to-date information on blazes happening within the Kamloops Wildfire Centre.

‘Amazing Race Canada’ competitors face B.C. challenge

They drove Corvettes, mastered falconry basics, and ate blueberry pie in the Cowichan Valley

Grizzly bear jumps in river, chases B.C. kayaker

The bear got a bit too close for comfort along the Elaho River near Squamish

Drought alert posted for Koksilah and Chemainus Rivers

Around the Cowichan region hot, dry weather is drying up tributary streams as well

Island man convicted of 1999 sex assault at Fraser Valley music festival

James Allen Redden, formerly of Nanaimo, was found guilty of three charges

Police respond after dog left in vehicle at the movies

West Shore RCMP determined the animal was not in distress

Former Vike returns to lead women’s rowing program

Williams rowed for UVic, Oxford and Canada

Most Read