Loved woman on Vancouver Island killed, her son charged with murder

“She was loved by many people,” said her older brother Alex McEwen.

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VICTORIA – Raymonde Elder was a beautiful, sweet, caring person who was loved by everyone who met her, her grieving family said Monday.

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The Langford woman was found dead at her home on Selwyn Road in Arbutus Ridge State’s mobile home park last week. Her son, Ryan Robert Elder, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder sometime between December 25 and 31, 2021.

Raymonde, who owned a cleaning company, was due to celebrate his 60th birthday in March. She was one of five siblings who emigrated from Scotland to Victoria with their parents in 1967.

“She was loved by many people,” said her older brother, Alex McEwen. “She did not want to hurt a fly. She used to come into a room and the place would light up. She was so funny. We used to have some good laughs together.”

Raymonde loved his animals and was a happy person. She remained close to family members in Scotland, even with the distance, he said.

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“She did not have a bad bone in her body,” said her younger sister, Denise McEwen. “This is so unfair. She always helped everyone. She gave in more than she received.”

Ryan struggled with mental health issues. Raymonde let him stay with her, but she needed support from the mental health system. There were no options for him and no help, Denise said.

“There are so many children like him everywhere. As a family, we tried to do as much as we could, but you can only do so much. If you do not have a support system that backs you up, you are left with a revolving door.” said Denise. “It’s stomach-churning. I do not know what can be done. We’re just another statistic. Other families have been through this and there does not seem to be any help for anyone. ”

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Raymonde wanted to do everything for his son, Alex said: “Ryan loved his mother and she loved him. That’s why he lived there. That’s why she let him stay.”

Police were called several times but did nothing, he said, “This is one of the things I’m mad about. This could have been prevented.”

Alex began to realize that something was wrong when he received a call from a friend who said Raymonde did not show up for work. He called her landline, her cell phone and her son’s phone, but got no answer. Then he called the RCMP and asked them to do a wellness check. He heard back from them two or three hours later.

“I knew right away that something was wrong. I had a feeling. We are very close through all the years and I could just feel that something was wrong. But you never suspect anything like that. It’s like a living nightmare, ”Alex said.

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The RCMP and BC Coroners Service are investigating on the spot for a possible homicide at Arbutus Ridge Estates, 2587 Selwyn Rd., In Langford on Saturday, January 1, 2022.
The RCMP and BC Coroners Service are investigating on the spot for a possible homicide at Arbutus Ridge Estates, 2587 Selwyn Rd., In Langford on Saturday, January 1, 2022. Photo by ADRIAN LAM, TIMES COLONIST /PNG

Ryan will remain in custody at the Vancouver Island Regional Correctional Center. The charges against him were sworn in before a peace judge during a telecommunications hearing on January 1.

Victoria’s lawyer Claire Tollefson, who acted as guard counsel for him that day, explained that under criminal law, anyone charged with murder must be detained.

“He’s been remanded in custody until he brings a bail application to the BC Supreme Court, and it’s successful,” she said.

The case has been adjourned until January 20 to give seniors time to retain a lawyer. A psychiatric assessment has not been ordered “yet,” Tollefson said.

“I’m sure when he can afford it, they will consider all options,” she said.

Raymonde leaves behind his mother, two brothers and two sisters.

The Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit is responsible for the investigation. Anyone with information about the death is asked to call the crime unit’s information line at 250-380-6211.

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