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Coroner releases report on suspected 2016 West Kelowna murder-suicide

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West Kelowna deaths were murder-suicide – Mar 11, 2016

He was a young man of 20 who was born and raised in Kelowna.

She was a 31-year-old mother of two who had moved to Kelowna from Terrace in 2005 to attend UBC Okanagan.

Marcello Quinn Verna and Kimberly Janet Ansell would die within seconds of each other on March 1, 2016, in deaths that were shrouded by mystery and suspicion.

Read more: West Kelowna deaths were murder-suicide

At the time, RCMP determined it was a murder-suicide and called it a tragic, isolated incident.

A report from the BC Coroners Service regarding the incident was completed in August of 2020 and was released to Global News on Tuesday.

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Verna and Ansell, according to the report, had been in a close personal relationship with each other in the months prior to their deaths at the end of the same gun.

While the coroner concluded Verna turned the gun on himself, shooting himself in the head at 11:40 p.m., it was only seconds after Ansell died of a gunshot to the head.

After extensive investigations by both the coroner’s office and RCMP, it’s unclear if Ansell shot herself or Verna fired the fatal shot, according to coroner Lori Moen.

While Verna’s death has been ruled a suicide, Ansell’s death is undermined.

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“As there is equal evidence of, or a significant contest between, the classification of suicide and homicide, I find the manner of this death is undetermined,” said Moen’s report.

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“Undetermined is a positive finding reflecting a full investigation and careful consideration of all the available evidence.”

The handgun found at the scene next to Verna’s right hand was determined to belong to the young man, who was not permitted to own the weapon, according to the report.

The gun was also not registered, stated the report, but had no indication of the type of handgun.

Both Verna and Ansell were said to have been experiencing personal stressors in the preceding months before their deaths — including suicidal thoughts and intentions by Ansell — but the report adds no details about this determination.

RCMP investigators found no evidence of a third person involved in their deaths, nor did they uncover any history of violence or abuse allegations between the two.

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A passerby located the two bodies at about 7 a.m., on March 2, about three metres up an embankment off Shannon Way, the spot where both had died, according to Moen.

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The report also stated toxicology was not performed on their bodies, only autopsies.

Ansell had been living up the street from where she died and was in the process of moving out, Sharon Kakoschke told Global News in 2016.

Kakoschke had been living in the downstairs suite of the home at the time of the shooting.

The coroner has made no recommendations following the conclusion into Verna and Ansell’s deaths.

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