Memorial held as friends still question Peru killing of Comox Valley man


WATCH: A private memorial was held Saturday for Sabastian Woodroffe who was brutally killed in Peru in April. Family and friends don’t believe the recent news that prosecutors say he was responsible for the shooting death of an indigenous healer in Latin America.  

It’s now been over two weeks since a well-intended trip to Peru ended in unimaginable grief for friends and family of 41-year-old Sabastian Woodroffe of Cumberland.

“We just all knew him to be a real lovable guy and really personable.” said his friend Nat Raedwulf

Woodroffe had recently gone to South America to learn about natural healing from the Shipibo-Konibo tribe in northeastern Peru.

He posted online ahead of his trip, saying he hoped that an apprenticeship with a plant healer would help his goal of changing careers to become an addiction counsellor using hallucinogenic medicine.

He was a student of 81-year-old Olivia Arevalo Lomas but on April 19 she was shot to death in her home and Woodroffe was quickly named by locals as the killer.

He was soon found and then publicly strangled with a seat belt, all of it recorded on video.

Back in his hometown of Cumberland, his friends say he couldn’t have done it.

“No one would ever have predicted he would be accused of that or implicated in that,” said Raedwulf. “People have a lot of questions and not a lot of answers about what happened.”

But the evidence against Woodroffe appears to be mounting.

A Peruvian prosecutor says Woodroffe purchased a gun from a police officer April 3rd and that that gun was found close to where his body was found.

The prosecutor says tests prove the gun was used to kill Lomas and that gunpowder from it was found on Woodroffe’s clothing.

Still, his friends say there are too many things that just don’t add up.

“Yeah you have to wonder sometimes what pieces of the puzzle you’re missing and what if anything is either being hidden.” added Raedwulf.

There are two Gofundme campaigns set up including one that is intended to help his young son and former common-law wife. A link to it can be found here.

“There’s a lot of stories, you know he did this for me once, and now it’s my turn to give back, so I think that really speaks to what kind of person he was and what kind of influence he was and what kind of member of the community he was,” said Raedwulf.

A private memorial was held for Sabastian Woodroffe in the Comox Valley Saturday, attended by close family and friends.

Dean StoltzDean Stoltz

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