Nearly a decade later, B.C. mom hopes possible witness can shed more light on son’s killing
Tammy Krawitz-Kehoe is still haunted by the loss of her son Jamie Kehoe in a tragic incident nearly a decade ago.
The 18-year-old was riding a transit bus with friends in Surrey on Oct. 7, 2011, when one of his friends got into an altercation with another young man they didn’t know.
When Kehoe tried to intervene, his throat was slashed. He died the next day.
Months later, in May 2012, the Crown declined to pursue charges in the case, ruling there wasn’t enough evidence to prove the teen was acting as a Good Samaritan, and that the suspect wasn’t acting in self-defence.
More than seven years since that decision was released, Krawitz-Kehoe can only try to keep down her fury over what she considers a lack of justice in his death.
“I try not to have any anger towards anyone, because I know anybody that was there that night did not intend for what happened to happen,” she said. “But as a mom, there’s so many things that happened on that bus that I still have so much anger that I keep inside.
“Have I put blame towards people? Yeah, I have. And I don’t mean to. But I’m angry.”
But those feelings of anger are starting to turn into hope after Krawitz-Kehoe says she came across a startling message sent to Kehoe’s online memorial page last month.
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“I noticed there was an inbox message, and there was a young woman who had left a message for Jamie,” she said.
That message claims to be from a young woman who was on the same bus as Kehoe when she was 15 years old, and watched the fight unfold from a seat right next to Kehoe and his group of friends.
The message describes the fight in detail and says that after Kehoe was stabbed, the woman called 911 and stayed with the boy while trying to stop the bleeding with her jacket.
Ultimately, the woman says she blames herself for Kehoe’s death, saying that as a young teen she felt she didn’t know where to turn.
“I feel sad that I wasn’t able to help or tell my story,” the message reads. “I never even told my father. I just threw my blood-soaked jacket away and went to bed.”
Krawitz-Kehoe said reading the message for the first time was overwhelming, and she felt immediate empathy for the sender.
“I don’t even have words to describe how [reading the message] made me feel,” she said. “I wanted to reach out to her. I want her to reach out to me.”
The woman has since done just that, and a meeting is being set up for some time in the next two weeks.
Krawitz-Kehoe is hopeful the woman’s story could shed more light on what happened that fateful night, and finally give her peace of mind.
She also wants to help the woman navigate the trauma and grief both of them are still experiencing.
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“I don’t want to press her, I don’t want to overwhelm her,” she said. “I think just giving her a hug might even help just a little bit.
“She’s one of the people who saw [Jamie] alive last. Of course I want to hug her.”
Global News has reached out to the RCMP’s Integrated Homicide Investigation Team for more information about the status of their investigation into Jamie Kehoe’s death.
—With files from Julia Foy and the Canadian Press
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