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 Mounties seize guns, drugs and cash from Guildford residence

One man was arrested but no charges have been laid as investigation continues

After delay, ‘Metro Vancouver’s Largest Indoor Amusement Park’ set to open in Surrey

At Central City Fun Park, ‘things will be a little different than what we had originally planned’

Clover Valley Beer Festival cancelled

Cloverdale beer fest falls victim to COVID-19

‘I’m confident that we’ll somehow make it happen,’ says Surrey Eagles owner as BCHL mulls plans to return

Junior ‘A’ hockey league pondering different return-to-play scenarios for 2020-‘21 season

In ‘landmark move,’ Surrey Pride party goes online for the event’s 21st anniversary

‘We have the ‘honour’ of being the first large city to put on a virtual Pride Festival’

If Trudeau won’t stand up to Trump, how will regular people: Singh

Trudeau did not directly answer a question about Trump’s actions amid protests

B.C. ranchers, lodge operators say Indigenous land title shuts them out

Tsilhqot’in jurisdiction affects grazing, access to private property

Sex offender Danny Depew sentenced in Abbotsford to 2.5 more years

Depew still has child-luring charges before the courts in Ontario

As two B.C. offices see outbreaks, Dr. Henry warns tests don’t replace other measures

Physical distancing, PPE and sanitizing remain key to reduce COVID-19 spread

Help the ‘Cloverdale Reporter’ continue its mission to provide trusted local news

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Golden Ears park expected to be busy the first camping weekend of season

Campgrounds expected to be full or close to full

Greater Victoria drive-thru window smashed after man receives burger without mustard

Greater Victoria Wendy’s staff call police after man allegedly rips Plexiglas barrier off window

Abbotsford Airshow launching virtual Aerospace Camp

Online S.T.E.M. open to students aged 10 to 15, starts later this summer

VIDEO: BREAKING: RCMP Emergency Response Team raid known drug house in Chilliwack

Armed officers respond to reports of shots, bring in ERT, K-9 unit and spike belt

Most Read