Advertisement

Schoenborn victims’ family anxious after psych patient escape

Terrance Giesbrecht (left) slipped away from staff during an escorted daypass on Friday. Allan Schoenborn (right) is currently seeking escorted daypasses.
Terrance Giesbrecht (left) slipped away from staff during an escorted daypass on Friday. Allan Schoenborn (right) is currently seeking escorted daypasses.

Convicted killer Terrance Giesbrecht’s disappearance from a psychiatric hospital and eventual capture is hitting close to home for the family members of another killer’s victims.

“The similarities between the man who escaped [Friday] and Allan Schoenborn are frightening,” said Dave Teixeira, who speaks on behalf of Darcie Clarke, Schoenborn’s estranged wife and the mother of the three children he killed in 2008.

READ MORE: Convicted killer who walked away from B.C. psych hospital found by police

Schoenborn and Giesbrecht are both housed in the same facility, the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital – better known as Colony Farm.

Teixeira said Giesbrecht’s ability to slip away from attendants while on an escorted day pass has horrified the Clarke family, who are watching anxiously as Schoenborn appeals for similar privileges.

“They, like me, were thinking, ‘Wait, this is very much close to home, this is exactly what would happen if Schoenborn was to get away, he would evade and elude police for a number of days.'”

WATCH: Crown seeks high-risk designation for Allan Schoenborn

Crown seeks high-risk designation for Allan Schoenborn
Crown seeks high-risk designation for Allan Schoenborn

Teixeira points out that Schoenborn and Giesbrecht have followed similar paths: both have murdered multiple individuals, both were found not criminally responsible, and both are seeking more freedoms while living at Colony Farm.

Story continues below advertisement

READ MORE: Allan Schoenborn loses challenge, could be labelled a high-risk offender

Giesbrecht managed to get away from his two escorts last Friday while they were getting into a vehicle. He was returned to custody on Monday.

However, health officials insist the review process for allowing escorted day passes is rigorous, and that unauthorized absences from Colony Farm are rare.

There were four such cases in 2016/2017, down from 56 in 2007/2008.

Colony Farm houses some of B.C.’s most notorious offenders, who have been found not criminally responsible due to mental illness or mentally unfit to stand trial.

READ MORE: Schoenborn struggles with anger management: doctor

Schoenborn stabbed his 10-year-old daughter Kaitlynne and smothered his sons Max and Cordon, aged eight and five, at the family’s home in Merritt nine years ago.

He admitted to the killings, but his lawyer argued he suffered from a mental disorder, to which Crown agreed.

The Crown has since filed a court application to have Schoenborn designated a high-risk accused, which would end the possibility of any outings and extend the time between annual review hearings up to three years.

That application is due to be heard in September.

-With files from the Canadian Press

Story continues below advertisement