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.

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

Surrey councillors wary of ‘streamlining’ environmental development permits process

Mayor Doug McCallum notes B.C. government only agency that can issue environment permit

Lost season ‘disappointing’, but White Rock Renegades eager to play outside competition

South Surrey softball organization president hopes inter-city play is a few weeks away

City buys century-old East Delta church

St. Stephen’s Church to be renovated and restored, used as community services and programming space

Oh baby, what a birthday gift: $2.8M raised to help Surrey boy with rare disease

‘We are very thankful to everybody,’ Aryan Deol’s father says

COVID-19 exposure at Surrey rave prompts warning from Fraser Health

Party was held at Royal Beauty Supply in Whalley

B.C. records 30-50 new COVID-19 cases a day over weekend, no new deaths

Many of those testing positive were identified by contact tracing for being linked to other confirmed infections

Five B.C. First Nations call out Canada for ‘discriminatory’ food fish practices

West Coast nations say government ignoring court-won right to chinook and coho

Salmon arrive in larger numbers at Big Bar landslide

Arrival follows historic hihg-water levels that halted migration runs

Rent-relief program becomes new front in fight between Liberals, opposition

Opposition trying to draw parallels between decision to have Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. run program and the WE controversy

Ottawa sets minimum unemployment rate at 13.1% for EI calculation

Statistics Canada says the unemployment rate was 10.9 per cent in July

$45K in donations received after couple’s sudden death in Tulameen

Sarah MacDermid, 31, and Casey Bussiere, 37, died August long weekend

Famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer brings movements of joy to Long Beach

Internet-famous dancer is exploring Vancouver Island, visiting the B.C. Legislature and more

Battle of Fairy Creek: blockade launched to save Vancouver Island old-growth

‘Forest Defenders’ occupy road to prevent logging company from reaching Port Renfrew-area watershed

Most Read