Raymond Lee Caissie has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the 2014 killing of Surrey teenager Serena Vermeersch.
He entered the guilty plea in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster this morning (Thursday).
A Surrey Search and Rescue team had found the 17-year-old girl’s body on Sept. 16, 2014, near railway tracks in the 14600-block of 66th Avenue in Sullivan. She’d been reported missing the day before, by her mom.
Caissie, 43 at the time, was arrested the following week in Vancouver and charged with second-degree murder. He has spent most of his life behind bars for sexual assault with a weapon, forcible confinement, robbery, theft, and other crimes.
The Corrections Branch put out a public notification bulletin on Caissie on June 14, 2013, revealing that the “high-risk sexual and violent offender” was “currently on bail supervision” and living in Surrey.
Dianne Watts, Surrey’s mayor at the time, had predicted he would reoffend and expressed outrage that he’d been released into her community.
Caissie is expected to be sentenced on Sept. 21.
Corporal Frank Jang, of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Unit, said police and Crown Counsel “worked tirelessly to secure all of the evidence relevant to this investigation. A guilty plea, in any homicide investigation, speaks to the efforts and dedication from all agencies involved.”
Surrey RCMP Staff Sergeant Dale Carr recalled Surrey residents outrage at the time of the murder. “This was a tragic and senseless act that devastated a family. The Surrey RCMP High Risk Team played a key role in identifying Caissie which led to his arrest just days after the murder.”