Family of the victims of last week's killings in a Chilliwack mobile home park are expressing deep disappointment that the man accused of the slayings has been granted bail.
Robert Freeman, the 83-year-old man charged with killing 58-year-old John Kavaloff and 67-year-old Valerie Smith last week, was granted bail after a hearing at the Chilliwack Law Courts Thursday afternoon.
Freeman is charged with two counts of second-degree murder. Details of Thursday's hearing are covered by a publication ban.
Kavalaoff and Smith's daughter-in-law, Joy Finnigan, read a statement from the family and said they were feeling "crushed" by that decision.
Daughter-in-law of the victims, Joy Finnigan, reads from a prepared statement after Robert Freeman was granted bail. She is accompanied by friends and family. Her husband, Smith’s son, is to her right, in the hat and sunglasses. (Baneet Braich/CBC)
She said the family's emotional wounds had been "torn open again" after bail was granted.
"We are especially concerned about how our children are going to cope," Finnigan said. "Our parents were very involved and loving grandparents to our children."
Finnigan says the family is still making sense of the deaths.
"Our family has a very long road ahead trying to sort through all of our emotions and pain," she said, reading a statement flanked by family and friends.
"Having two empty chairs at birthday parties and holidays like Christmas will be especially challenging."
Officers were called to the mobile home park in Chilliwack on Sept. 13 at about 7:45 p.m., for a report of shots fired.
Chilliwack RCMP said two people were found dead in a home and another man was arrested nearby.
Park residents said they couldn't believe such a violent act like the killings of Kavalaoff and Smith could have happened in their usually peaceful neighbourhood. They described it as a quiet, seniors-oriented community.
The matter is scheduled to be before the court again on Monday.