B.C. woman killed in Mexico in suspected ‘femicide’

Click to play video: 'B.C. woman killed in Mexico in suspected ‘femicide’'
B.C. woman killed in Mexico in suspected ‘femicide’
A small community in northern B.C. is mourning the loss of a young woman who died while on what was supposed to be a dream vacation with her boyfriend. Kiara Agnew grew up in New Brunswick but had settled in Dawson Creek - before Mexican police say she became the victim of a suspected femicide. Kristen Robinson reports – Mar 4, 2023

A 26-year-old Canadian man has been detained in Mexico in the suspected ‘femicide’ of a woman who has been identified by family members as Kiara Agnew of Dawson Creek, B.C.

Agnew was with her boyfriend on what was supposed to be a dream trip to Mexico when her family said the Mayan Riviera vacation turned into a nightmare just days shy of her 24th birthday.

“She didn’t want to lose her life at 23,” Agnew’s aunt Katlyn Levesque told Global News from New Brunswick Saturday.

“It doesn’t feel like it’s real yet, I don’t want it to be real. I’ve never wanted something to be more false in my entire life.”

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Levesque, who said Agnew grew up in New Brunswick before moving to Dawson Creek as a teen, said she last spoke with her niece over Snapchat Thursday evening.

Agnew and her boyfriend had arrived earlier that day in Playa del Carmen, where Levesque said they planned to go sailing, go snorkelling, and visit the Mayan Ruins.

The next day, Agnew’s family in Canada was notified of her death.

“It’s not something that I would ever want anyone to ever have to go through,” Levesque said.

“She had so much life left to live and it’s not fair that that was robbed from her.”

In a tweet Friday, the Mexican Secretariat of Public Security said Solidarity SSPyT police officers “insured a person of foreign origin for the possible crime of femicide, after a lifeless woman was found with possible marks of violence in a hotel located in the Xcalacoco neighbourhood.”

Femicide, defined as the killing of a woman for reasons of gender, was added to Mexico’s federal criminal code in 2010, amid a dramatic rise in violence against women.

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“She was found in one of the laundry rooms, [the] alleged suspect was found beside her sleeping,” Levesque told Global News.

“To all women, you know, if he hurts you, that’s not love and if it happens once, please don’t give him a second chance.”

Global Affairs Canada confirmed it’s aware of the death of a Canadian citizen and the detention of another Canadian citizen in Mexico, and consular officials are providing assistance to the families while liaising with local authorities.

Dawson Creek, which is home to just over 12,000, is in shock over the news.

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Agnew worked at the Lake View Credit Union, which announced it was mourning the loss of a teammate and friend.

“This is a devastating tragedy and loss for our community. We send our love and faith to all others who have been impacted,” said a message posted to Facebook.

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Agnew’s family described her as hard-working, driven, courageous, kind, caring, and vibrant.

“She would light up any room that she entered and she made an impact on everyone that she met,” Levesque recalled. “She had a heart of gold.”

Agnew would have turned 24 on March 11. Instead, her family is planning a funeral and working to bring their loved one home.

A GoFundMe page has raised more than $14,000 towards returning Agnew to Canada and funeral costs.

“Justice is the most important thing to me outside of bringing Kiara home because she deserves it,” said Levesque.

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