Family haunted by young woman's mysterious death
The fiancé and mother of a young woman who was found fatally wounded in her East Vancouver basement suite last week say they're haunted by mysterious circumstances surrounding her death.
The last Ryan Wagner heard from his bride-to-be, Jasmine Onland, was a text message the morning of Feb. 13 that said "I love you." A few hours later, his regular lunch hour phone call was answered by a tenant who lives above their basement suite.
Wagner said the voice on the phone was "ballistic, telling me that Jasmine's not breathing and that I need to get home right now."
He dropped his coffee, ran to his home in the 3200-block of East 8th Avenue and found his 22-year-old fiancée lying unconscious on their bed. The tenant was trying to perform CPR; Onland's head was covered in blood.
"We had to clear the blood from her mouth and everything," Wagner said. "It was gruesome. I've never seen anything like that before."
Wagner said the tenant told him he came in the room to check on a weird, gurgling breathing noise he heard – but Wagner saw no sign of a break-in and the doors were all locked.
"It didn't look like there was any way she could fall or hurt herself in that situation. There was no more blood around the house anywhere else other than exactly where she was," Wagner said. "Whatever happened, it f***ing happened right there."
Onland's fiancé said she was in a difficult battle to gain custody of her children, but had no real enemies and was a generally happy person who was trying to start a new life.
Eight days after her death, Wagner said police have told him next to nothing about what happened, and he's been tormented imagining the possibilities.
Mother Marlene Douglas says she's also desperate to know more about how her daughter died.
Douglas said Wagner was crying hysterically when he called her last Monday afternoon to break the news, but she hoped it had somehow been a prank – until police showed up on her doorstep.
"Two detectives showed up to notify me that my daughter had passed… that she was pronounced dead at the Royal Columbian Hospital at 1:30 in the afternoon," Douglas said.
Police told her Onland died due to blunt trauma but would say little else, save for one perplexing detail: that Onland's engagement ring was found off her finger on the bed.
Douglas now believes her daughter was murdered, but has had trouble reaching police.
"They have never returned any of my phone calls," Douglas said. "I want to know answers… what happened to her? What was the instrument that was used on her? I just don't understand. She's been murdered, and nobody's saying anything. It's quiet."
A police statement issued Tuesday contained few details, but said the investigation is progressing.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Lisa Rossington