Shane Ertmoed (right) is serving a life sentence for killing 10-year-old Heather Thomas on Oct. 1, 2000. (File photos)

Shane Ertmoed (right) is serving a life sentence for killing 10-year-old Heather Thomas on Oct. 1, 2000. (File photos)

Petition, fundraiser launched for family of Surrey girl murdered in October, 2000

$50,000 goal set in fundraiser, petition calls for inquiry into killer-pedophile incarcerations

A petition and gofundme campaign have been launched in support of the family of murdered Surrey girl Heather Thomas.

Launched Tuesday (June 1) by family friend Rebecca Darnell, the fundraiser aims to raise $50,000 “to provide treatment, counselling and education” for Heather’s brother and mother; the petition – signed by more than 1,000 people as of Wednesday morning – is calling for a review and overturning of a recent parole board decision that granted Heather’s killer, Shane Ertmoed, temporary escorted absences from custody.

“Heather’s mother and brother need financial assistance to obtain and begin the healing process through professional counselling and education,” Darnell writes on the gofundme page.

“Heather’s mother is now 49 years of age, she has been deeply impacted emotionally and mentally since Heather’s murder. In order to help her heal from the constant and devastating memories of what happened to her young child, she requires professional counselling. It is her wish to attend school to train to become a Doula, so that she can assist others in bringing new life into the world.”

Heather died on Oct. 1, 2000 at the hands of Ertmoed, who was later convicted of first-degree murder for the killing and handed a life sentence.

Ten-year-old Heather had been playing outside with some children during a stay at her father’s townhouse complex in Cloverdale when a neighbour convinced her to go inside his apartment.

When Ertmoed tried to sexually assault Heather, she struggled and he killed her. Her body was found weeks later in Alouette Lake.

Ertmoed’s application for temporary escorted leaves from custody was granted last month, following a virtual parole-board hearing on May 4 – a decision Heather’s mom, Jody Aspin, described as “beyond disappointing.”

READ MORE: Surrey child-killer’s escorted-leave ‘beyond disappointing’: victim’s mother

In a complaint submitted to the Parole Board of Canada calling for a reversal of the decision, Darnell – who has supported Heather’s family throughout the ordeal, after becoming friends at the outset of the search – indicates her rights to information, participation, protection and restitution were infringed on.

She states that information relied on by the board in making the decision – including supporting documents related to treatment programs and risk assessments – was not disclosed to victims. Other concerns cited include that the board did not consider Ertmoed’s prior criminal activity; and, that the board did not consider the security of the victims.

“Ertmoed is and will always be a Danger to our Society,” Darnell writes.

Parole Board of Canada officials said they could not comment on the specifics of a given case, but said any registered victim who believes that their rights under the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights (CVBR) have not been respected has the right to file a complaint.

According to information online about that process, complaints that fall outside the scope of the CVBR include those regarding parole decisions.

The petition, in addition to echoing the complaint’s call for the decision to be overturned, appeals for a public inquiry into the sentencing and incarceration of pedophiles who have taken a life; including consideration of “no release under any circumstances” for such offenders.

It’s directed at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada David Lametti, Cloverdale-Langley City MP Tamara Jansen and North Okanagan-Shuswap MP Mel Arnold – the latter, given Ertmoed’s hometown connection to Vernon.

Ertmoed’s sentence does not expire, however, he is eligible for day parole on Nov. 3, 2022, and for full parole as of Nov. 3, 2025. His escorted absences – to take effect after COVID-19 restrictions are lifted – are for a period of one year, for no more than eight hours per day, Monday to Friday.



tholmes@peacearchnews.com
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

fundraiserHomicideSurrey

Just Posted

Police closed off 16th Avenue between 232nd and 240th streets in Aldergrove Saturday night at the site of a reported motor vehicle accident. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Police close off 16th Avenue

Fire crews were initially called to a report of a motor vehicle accident

Stephen Nicol, Langley Secondary science teacher, Amanda Smith, LEPS Agriculture Program coordinator, and Gary Jones, a Langley Sustainable Agriculture Foundation director and KPU faculty member have been involved in the new Learning Farm. (Black Press Media files)
Otter Co-op donates $25,000 for Langley outdoor learning space

Farm is proposed to include a food forest, an incubator farm, and a solar powered container farm

At the Monday, June 14 vote approving limited outdoor drinking on a trial basis, Coun. Rosemary Wallace said she has heard a number of residents express concerns about operating pilot ‘alcohol allowed zones” in September, when students will be heading back to school. (file)
VIDEO: ‘Alcohol allowed zones’ approved in Langley City

Pilot project will be limited to Fridays and Saturdays at three locations

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Surrey Fire Service battled a dock fire along the Fraser River late Friday night (June 18). It was on Musqueam Drive, near Industrial Road, around 10:45 p.m. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
VIDEO: Fire engulfs pier on Surrey side of the Fraser River

Dock has reportedly been unused for a long time

Most Read