Sex offender pleads guilty in murder of Serena Vermeersch
Published Thursday, September 14, 2017 11:44AM PDT
Last Updated Thursday, September 14, 2017 7:02PM PDT
The convicted rapist charged with killing a 17-year-old Surrey student three years ago has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.
The body of Serena Vermeersch was found by railway tracks in the Newton neighbourhood in September 2014.
She was reported missing that morning by her mother, and the teen was last seen boarding a transit bus.
Raymond Lee Caissie, a sex offender with a long criminal history, was charged a week after her body was discovered.
Caissie has a long history of violent crime.
In 1991, Caissie kidnapped and sexually assaulted a 21-year-old woman who was working at Abbottsford’s Tretheway House museum. After forcing her to withdraw her daily limit from an ATM, he raped her again and left her in a field near the U.S. border, gagged and tied to a tree.
He was sentenced to 22 years in prison, a sentence the ended the year before Vermeersch was killed.
Caissie was the subject of a 2013 public warning by RCMP. Mounties said he had "a varied pattern of offending, having offended both violently and sexually, in both an opportunistic and impulsive manner.”
A probation order in July 2013 required him to regularly report to BC Corrections, avoid drugs, and avoid contact with his victims.
He was under surveillance by the RCMP, but court records show he stole from a Winners department store in Surrey two months later.
He failed to report to his probation officer twice in 2013, on Nov. 5, and again nine days later. Almost a week later authorities issued a warrant for his arrest.
Caissie was given three months in custody and three years’ probation for the breach.
Documents from the National Parole Board in 2014 deemed the convicted rapist a high-risk to reoffend because of intense aggression and prison violence.
But government lawyers didn’t ask for electronic monitoring or a curfew when he was released, a decision that was questioned after the sex offender was charged in Vermeersch’s homicide.