News

Family of beaten woman makes plea to public

Surrey RCMP Cpl. Bert Paquet and Cpl. Bari Emam from IHIT speak to the media at RCMP headquarters in Surrey regarding the beating death of Janice Shore.   - Evan Seal / The Leader
Surrey RCMP Cpl. Bert Paquet and Cpl. Bari Emam from IHIT speak to the media at RCMP headquarters in Surrey regarding the beating death of Janice Shore.
— image credit: Evan Seal / The Leader

Her childhood, her family says, was typical of any young girl. While she had some mental health issues, Janice Shore was a normal kid.

She grew up, got married, and had three children, all of whom are now grown and on their own.

Then she made some bad choices.

Those wrong turns left her drug-addicted and scraping by on a meagre living collecting pop bottles and panhandling on the mean streets of Whalley.

While she led a troubled life, she had no criminal record.

"She struggled in poverty," said Jonquil Hallgate, executive director of Surrey Urban Mission Society (SUMS), which often fed her.

"(She) didn't have a lot of personal resources or connections to people in the community," Hallgate said. "She spent a lot of time on the street looking for bottles, looking for money to buy a few things she needed or wanted."

Several people who knew her say she did not turn to prostitution to make money.

On Sunday, Dec. 2, Ken Smith, a man who accessed services in the area, discovered Shore, barely conscious, partially clothed, and weakly calling for help in an empty lot in Whalley.

He said she was chained or roped to a tree, a claim the police say is incorrect. What they agree on is the sheer ferocity of her beating.

While he knew Shore, Smith could barely recognize her due the facial pummeling she endured.

Police waited more than a week to plea for witnesses, they say, because there wasn't a threat to the public and they were already working on promising leads.

On Dec. 11, The Leader published a story about the beating, and two days later, police issued a plea for witnesses.

Police didn't say much early in the investigation, except that she was a victim of a serious assault and suffered life-threatening injuries, including broken bones.

Shore was taken to Royal Columbian Hospital, where she spent the entire time in a coma.

As she never regained consciousness, so police didn't have a chance to interview her.

The 45-year-old succumbed to her injuries on Monday.

On Thursday, the family was struggling through the pain.

"Janice did not have much of a voice while she was alive," the family said in a prepared statement read by police Thursday. "After her death, she no longer has any voice, period."

The investigation has just been handed over to the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT).

IHIT Cpl. Bari Emam said Surrey RCMP interviewed several people leading up the last few hours before Shore was beaten. He said she did not fear for her physical safety at the time.

Police do not have any suspects or persons of interest at this time.

The family is asking anyone with information to come forward.

"We are making this appeal particularly to those who knew Janice and may have valuable information which can help police solve her murder," the family said.

Any witnesses are asked to call the IHIT Tipline at 1-877-551-IHIT. If you wish to remain anonymous you can call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

 

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