On Friday night, dozens of neighbours, family and friends held a vigil in Langford to honour the memory of Kerri Weber, a 55-year-old woman who was found dead in her home last week.
“She had a smile that would light up a room,” said Karen Reilly, Weber’s sister-in-law. “She had very sparkly eyes and she was very warm and loved people.”
The vigil took place outside Weber’s home in the 1200-block of McLeod Place, where she was allegedly murdered by her husband the day before her body was found by police.
West Shore RCMP were called to the home near Happy Valley Road, just before 4 p.m. on Nov. 6. When they arrived, police found an unresponsive body inside.
Kerri’s husband, 56-year-old Kenneth Lawrence Weber, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder.
“There was domestic violence,” said Reilly, who was married to Weber’s brother before he died in 2013. “There was an event not long after they were married which changed the dynamic of their relationship and she became more caregiver than wife. She expressed plans to me to leave the marriage if things did not improve. We think this is what may have happened last Thursday.”
Her death left the quiet neighbourhood shocked.
“Every time I saw them walking the dog, or out on the Galloping Goose or the shops, the smile was there with her and it was great to see, but there was something hidden which was unfortunate,” said neighbour Christopher White, who lives a few houses down.
While Weber’s death and story of domestic abuse is surprising for many, it’s not an uncommon one. Approximately one woman is killed by her intimate partner every six days in Canada, according to the Canadian Women’s Foundation.
“When a woman decides to leave a relationship, that is really the most dangerous time for her and it’s so important that she has a safety plan in place,” said Susan Howard, development director at the Victoria Women’s Transition House Society. “That’s one of the things that our counsellors can help her with, is to work through a safety plan to ensure that she and her children are safe.”
Weber’s senseless death serves as a reminder to check in with friends and even neighbours too.
“The most important thing is for folks to keep the communication open, to be a good neighbour, to stay in touch with family and friends,” Howard explained, adding that it may be useful to have the crisis line number handy in case someone needs it. “The other thing is to offer a listening ear and try not to be judgmental in offering support.”
Weber leaves behind two children, Prairie and Logan, who live in Quebec and Ontario. They were unable to make it to Friday night’s vigil but shared a statement that Reilly read at the vigil.
“To see how loved our mother was here in Victoria brings us comfort in this extremely difficult time,” they wrote. “From the bottom of our hearts: Thank you, thank you, thank you.”
Her family remembers her as an independent woman, who loved to garden and explore the Island. Her son, in a statement, said Weber lived a life full of passion.
“She always led with her heart, lived her life how she wanted, spoke her mind and, most importantly, cared deeply for those she loved,” Reilly said on behalf of Logan.
Weber had only lived in Langford for a year. But in that time, neighbours say she became a beacon of light, one that will be missed deeply.
West Shore RCMP have not disclosed details about what may have led to Weber’s death.
If a woman is seeking more information on what supports are available and if there is shelter space, they can call the society at their 24-hour crisis and information line: (250) 385-6611.