Friends, family mourn Salt Spring Island woman killed in suspected murder-suicide

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for Jennifer Quesnel’s three sons

A gentle and loving mother, friend, daughter and sister is how many are remembering Jennifer Quesnel, a Salt Spring Island woman who died earlier this week in what the family has confirmed to be a murder-suicide that has shaken the surrounding community.

“Jennifer was taken from us, and her boys, during a time of hope for her,” a family friend wrote in a GoFundMe fundraising page launched Friday (June 5). “She had new dreams and aspirations and felt positive about her future.”

According to police, officers arrived to a home on Fulford-Ganges Road just before 5 p.m. on Monday. There, officers found a 48-year-old man inside, who family and friends have confirmed to be Quesnel’s husband. Quesnel, 41, was also found suffering from serious injuries, and died a short time later.

Quesnel’s family said in a statement released to the media that she had recently left an 18-year-marriage with a clear history of controlling and abusive behaviour by her husband. On Monday, she had returned to the property to grab belongings and visit her horse under the impression he wouldn’t be at the property.

“Unknown to Jennifer, John had parked in a secluded area nearby and hid himself from view, armed. He ambushed her without warning, shooting her twice and then turning the gun on himself,” the family alleges in a written statement.

“He couldn’t stand to see her happy and if he couldn’t be happy, neither could she. It was a selfish act by a coward and bully and committed in the most cruel and pre-meditated way.”

Police have not identified the man or woman involved in the incident, but have said no charges will be laid. Another person, who neither police or the family identified out of respect for their privacy, was present at the time of the incident.

The B.C. woman leaves behind three sons, Jake, Dan and John Jr. All money raised through the GoFundMe campaign will be used to support Quesnel’s children “as they work through both the emotional and financial strains of losing both of their parents.”

Jennifer Quesnel, 41, was killed on Monday, June 1, 2020, in an apparent murder suicide on Salt Spring Island. (GoFundMe photo)

Jennifer Quesnel, 41, was killed on Monday, June 1, 2020, in an apparent murder suicide on Salt Spring Island. (GoFundMe photo)

More than $77,000 had been raised as of Saturday morning.

“As we all try to wade through this senseless and life-altering loss, Jennifer’s family and loved ones would like to encourage you to help keep her memory alive by remembering her kind and loving spirit,” the fundraising page reads.

The tragedy comes as advocates have spent months voicing concerns that there has been a spike in domestic and gender-based violence as pandemic restrictions force many to stay home alongside their abusers.

“She was trying to leave an abusive marriage and was killed when she sought her freedom,” Islanders Working Against Violence said in a statement. “This is the riskiest time for a women’s safety and often when the violence can escalate.”

Quesnel will be remembered as someone who “was everything that was good about people,” her family said.

“We’re so thankful that she had that time away from him, to realize what life could be like and to see her that happy. She was the most beautiful person you would ever meet. So full of life.”

—-

If you are in immediate danger, call 911. You can also contact the following:

VictimLink BC is a 24-7 hotline available in 150 different languages which provides immediate crisis suppoert and referral services for victims of crime and family or sexual violence. Call 1-800-563-0808, text 604-836-6381 or email VictimLinkBC@bc211.ca.

For more information, visit endingviolence.org/need-help.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Person experiencing homelessness. (Black Press Media file photo)
Program preventing youth homelessness launches in Kelowna

Upstream Project’s goal is to help young people become more resilient

Calls for potential overdoses in B.C. spiked in 2020, especially in the Okanagan - Shuswap. Pictured above is a BCEHS re-enactment of paramedics attending an overdose. (BCHES photo)
UBCO program increases drug checking availability in Kelowna, Penticton, Vernon

January 2021 data shows of 95 opioid samples tested across Interior Health, 93 contained fentanyl

Youth from Vernon, Kelowna, Penticton and the Kootenays were able to dig into two evenings of online learning and connection through United Way Southern Interior B.C.’s <CODE>anagan program. (Submitted)<code> </code>
CODEanagan gives youth a chance to learn about technology

The youth, aged 12 to 21, built their own WordPress sites and developed blogging ideas

A rainbow shining on Kelowna General Hospital on May 12, 2020 International Nurses Day. (Steve Wensley - Prime Light Media)
New COVID cases trending down in Interior Health

24 new cases reported Thursday, Feb. 25, death at Kelowna General Hospital

The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia’s (CFSEU-BC) Uniform Gang Enforcement Team (UGET) has arrested a man who was on the run for nearly a decade. (File photo)
9-year search for international drug trafficking suspect ends with arrest at YVR

Khamla Wong, charged in 2012, taken into custody Feb. 24 by BC-CFSEU

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

A new survey has found that virtual visits are British Columbian’s preferred way to see the doctor amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Unsplash)
Majority of British Columbians now prefer routine virtual doctor’s visits: study

More than 82% feel virtual health options reduce wait times, 64% think they lead to better health

Larch Place is the first building to be built in the BC Housing, Canadian Mental Health Association housing project at the corner of Third Street SW and Fifth Avenue SW. This view is from the Shuswap Street side where it sits behind the Graystone East building. (File photo)
Opening of doors at new housing development in Salmon Arm welcomed

BC Housing announces opening of 32 rental units, with 35 more expected in summer 2021

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20, drown in the Sooke River in February 2020. (Contributed photos)
Coroner confirms ‘puddle jumping’ in 2020 drowning deaths of 3 B.C. men

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen pulled into raging river driving through nearby flooding

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay doctor shares experience contracting COVID-19

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

Vancouver International Women in Film Festival kicks off March 5.
Women in Film Festival features two B.C. filmmakers

The 16th annual festival kicks off March 5, 2021

The booklet roots present day activism in the history of racist policies, arguing the history must be acknowledged in order to change. (CCPA)
New resource dives into 150 years of racist policy in B.C.

Racist history must be acknowledged in order to change, authors say

Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller, before she knew she would change literature. Photo Wikipedia
And Then There Were None

What book knocked your booties off when you were young?

Most Read