Saanich police confirm couple’s deaths as murder-suicide

 

A 59-year-old Saanich man killed his wife and then killed himself, say Saanich police, but investigators have few clues as to why. Neil and Anne Harvey kept to themselves, had no family in Victoria and no apparent history of domestic violence.

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The Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit and Saanich police have concluded that the April 28 deaths of Anne Harvey, 61, and Neil Harvey, 59, are the result of a murder-suicide.

“Based on the evidence from the investigation, investigators believe that [Anne Harvey’s] death appears to have been caused by the victim’s husband,” said Saanich police Sgt. Steve Eassie.

While police would not say how Anne Harvey died, Eassie said Neil Harvey drowned himself.

The retired couple lived in a pink bungalow at 1840 Newton St. for 23 years. According to neighbours, they were friendly but kept to themselves.

Saanich police have not investigated any previous domestic violence incidents involving the couple, Eassie said, which leaves investigators searching for a motive.

“I’m not aware of any previous police history involving this residence or involving either of these individuals,” Eassie said. “People reading the newspapers, seeing the news would like to have answers as to what caused this. We would also like answers as to what led to this. There were no warning signs, no prior indications that anything like this would occur. So it is concerning.”

Major crime investigators are sharing all of their information with the B.C. Coroners Service, which is also investigating the deaths and will release a report in the coming months.

The couple did not have children and, according to Saanich police investigators, finding relatives to notify about the deaths was “an extremely difficult process” that took considerable time. Eassie said police were able to find one elderly family member who lives out of province.

Saanich police were alerted to the deaths by the adult daughter of a neighbour. The woman received a suspicious call from Neil Harvey, who sounded distraught, asking her to go to the house to check on his cat. At the end of the conversation, the man said she should call police.

Saanich police officers approached the house with guns drawn and broke down the door. Inside, officers found the body of Anne Harvey.

An hour later, Oak Bay police found Neil Harvey’s body submerged in the water off Cattle Point. Divers recovered the body.

Neil Harvey was a nursing assistant and Anne Harvey was a registered nurse who worked at Royal Jubilee Hospital.

Neil Harvey left a note on the kitchen table, according to the neighbour, but Saanich police would not say what the note said or if it gave them any clues as to the motive.

kderosa@timescolonist.com

charnett@timescolonist.com

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