In Berry murder trial, forensic expert describes what he found at scene

Advisory: This story has graphic details about a murder case.

A forensic identification officer found six-year-old Chloe Berry lying dead in the middle of a bed, a baseball bat entangled in her long blond hair.

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“The bat is a young girl’s bat. It’s a smaller one used for children. It was pink on one end, purple on the other and a black stripe around the centre,” Saanich police Sgt. Michael Duquette testified Tuesday at Andrew Berry’s trial in Vancouver.

Berry is on trial for the second-degree murders of his daughters, Chloe and four-year-old Aubrey.

The wooden bat, seized as evidence, was split at the handle and broken, Duquette said.

“I remember lifting Chloe up and her hair was entangled in the broken area of the bat,” the officer testified.

Prosecutor Patrick Weir asked Duquette to describe a book of photographs taken at the crime scene from Dec. 26 to Dec. 31, 2017.

Two jurors were close to tears. Sniffling could be heard in the courtroom when Weir asked the sergeant to describe Chloe’s injuries.

Duquette said Chloe had seven wounds to her back and shoulder area, seven wounds on her upper body and neck, cuts on her wrists and hands, and a black mark on the side of her head.

“I lightly touched that area with my hand and I could feel it was soft. She had been struck. Some injury had been sustained to her forehead,” Duquette testified.

Aubrey was wearing a purple Hello Kitty top and blue bottoms, he recalled. He saw cuts on the left side of her neck and throat and a large cut on her left wrist.

A photograph showed a large kitchen knife with a six-inch blade lying on the floor beside the bed she was lying in.

The forensic identification officer found blood spots on the south and west walls and on the dresser on the east wall of one of the bedrooms, he testified.

One photograph showed little dresses hanging in a closet. There was more clothing on the floor.

“Do these items have blood sprinkled on them?” asked Weir.

“I would say more than sprinkled. They were soaked in blood,” Duquette replied.

“The item we see in the lower left corner. What is that?”

“Those are the wings of a little angel,” said Duquette, adding that the angel wings were seized as an exhibit.

The forensic identification officers took swabs from blood stains in the apartment which were sent for DNA analysis.

The photographs also show a decorated Christmas tree in the living room of the apartment and two Christmas stockings with nothing in them. Two unopened presents were on the floor. One was found to contain a pair of men’s dress socks.

Photographs of items on a table in the living room area show a child’s note that read, “Santa this toothbrush has not been used.” Beside the note was a toothbrush in its original plastic wrap.

Bunny cracker crumbs were found in an empty container beside the toothbrush, Duquette said.

Beside that was another note in childish printing: “Dear Santa, Enjoy the bunny crackers from Chloe and Aubrey, Andy, Merry Christmas.”

A note addressed to Berry’s sister was also on the table. The note was not read in court on Tuesday.

The photographs also revealed there was no food in the apartment other than dried potato flakes and some condiments in an otherwise empty fridge.

The trial continues today.

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