Cathy BERARD – Case Overview
Imagine looking at a composite drawing in the newspaper of someone who was violently assaulted and now unconscious in hospital, and realizing it is your mother.
Early on the morning of July 5, 1996, 61-year-old Cathy Berard was found by a jogger on the school grounds of David Thompson High School, bleeding and unconscious.
Lying in hospital, with her eyes swollen shut, her jaw and her cheekbone so badly broken that she needed reconstructive surgery, investigators were desperate to find out who she was. It would be six days before they learned her name, thanks to the composite drawing that was released to the media. One of her five children barely recognized her, as her injuries were so extreme.
Cathy’s sons had visited her at home on the evening of July 4th, 1996, leaving her around 9:00 p.m. It’s believed she may have headed out in a purple blouse and green sweatpants to go to the liquor store at 47th and Victoria or at Kingsgate Mall.
Investigators also believe the assault might have begun on the sidewalk in the 6900 block of Argyle Street. There are signs she was dragged to the southeast corner of the school, where she was violently physically and sexually assaulted.
Cathy Berard regained consciousness, but she was moved into a long term care facility. Her injuries would continue to plague her, and eventually led to her death on January 2, 1999 – two and a half years after she was attacked.
Sadly, at the time that she died, a homicide victim had to die within a year and a day of their attack to be determined a homicide. Cathy Berard’s killer will only ever face possible charges of aggravated sexual assault.
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