Preliminary inquiry begins for man accused of killing Surrey teen

Raymond Caissie charged with second-degree murder in death of Serena Vermeersch.

Raymond Caissie is charged with second-degree murder in the death of 17-year-old Serena Vermeersch (pictured below) in Surrey in 2014. His preliminary inquiry began Dec. 9.

Raymond Caissie is charged with second-degree murder in the death of 17-year-old Serena Vermeersch (pictured below) in Surrey in 2014. His preliminary inquiry began Dec. 9.

The Crown’s case against the man accused of killing Surrey teen Serena Vermeersch last year is being laid out in court this week.

A preliminary hearing into charges against Raymond Caissie opened Wednesday morning in Surrey Provincial Court. The actual trial will come later, if a judge determines there is sufficient evidence to proceed.

Evidence from preliminary inquiries is subject to a publication ban and cannot be published.

Caissie is charged with second-degree murder in Vermeersch’s death on Sept. 15 of last year. The 17-year-old’s body was discovered the next evening in an area next to a cedar mill near 146 Street and 66 Avenue. Caissie, who is now 44, was arrested four days later in Vancouver.

Caissie sat in the prisoner’s box during Wednesday’s hearing, wearing red prison-issue clothing, his head shaved, with tattoos visible on his arms and neck and one of a teardrop under his right eye. He often leaned his head against the wall behind him and at some points, appeared to close his eyes.

Caissie’s arrest last year sparked particular outrage as he had been released from prison in 2013 after serving a 22-year sentence for a violent sexual assault and robbery in Abbotsford in 1991. At the time of his release, the B.C. Corrections Branch issued a warning to the public that he planned to live in Surrey and was considered at high risk to re-offend.

Prior to the 1991 conviction, which involved the rape of a 21-year-old student at knifepoint, Caissie had convictions of sexual assault, committing in indecent act and assault as a youth. Parole Board of Canada documents indicate that since the age of 15, he has spent only a couple of years out of jail and often voluntarily moved from medium-security institutions to maximum as he was more comfortable there. During parole reviews, Caissie agreed he wasn’t equipped to Iive outside prison and had no community support or employment skills.

Between 2006 and 2013, the parole board repeatedly denied releasing him before his sentence was finished, at which time his release was mandatory

The preliminary hearing on Caissie’s Surrey murder charge is scheduled to continue through Friday.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

South Surrey’s Kevin McAlpin is hoping to reunite this 50-year-old wedding ring with its rightful owner. (Contributed photo)
Owner of 50-year-old wedding band found near Peace Arch Park sought

Recovered ring ‘is important to somebody,’ says finder

Surrey City Hall. (File photo)
Surrey council earmarks $1.8M in grants for community groups

Councillor Laurie Guerra says it’s ‘essential’ given damage done by pandemic

Screen shot from the SOS Children’s Village BC webpage for their “Big Hearts Open Doors” fundraising appeal. SOS is also currently running a Christmas gift-card drive to help at-risk youth this Christmas. (Image via sosbc.org)
SOS Children’s Village BC launches annual Christmas gift-card drive

SOS collecting gift cards and donations for Surrey’s at-risk youth

Surrey protesters wearing their blue “bubble” suits. (Submitted photo)
OUR VIEW: Shut down strange Surrey protest

Unfortunate neighbourhood under siege for 12 weeks and counting

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

Cops converge in a Marshall Road parking lot on Thursday afternoon following a reported police incident. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
Federal offender escapes, gets shot at and is taken back into custody in Abbotsford

Several branches of law enforcement find escapee a short distance from where he fled

A demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver Sept. 24, demanding more action on the Cohen Commission recommendations to protect wild Fraser River sockeye. (Quinn Bender photo)
First Nations renew call to revoke salmon farm licences

Leadership council implores use of precautionary principle in Discovery Islands

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Pixabay)
Canadians’ mental health has deteriorated with the second wave, study finds

Increased substance use one of the ways people are coping

A coal-fired power plant seen through dense smog from the window of an electric bullet train south of Beijing, December 2016. China has continued to increase thermal coal production and power generation, adding to greenhouse gas emissions that are already the world’s largest. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
LNG featured at B.C. energy industry, climate change conference

Hydrogen, nuclear, carbon capture needed for Canada’s net-zero goal

People line up at a COVID-19 assessment centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Scarborough, Ont., on Wednesday, December 2, 2020. Toronto and Peel region continue to be in lockdown. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19 vaccine approval could be days away as pressures mount on health-care system

Many health officials in regions across the country have reported increasing pressures on hospitals

Most Read