Friends, family and supporters of Kimberly Proctor reacted with a mix of tears, relief and anger this weekend after news that two teenaged males have been arrested in connection with the Grade 12 student's brutal murder.
The RCMP announced Saturday that two youths aged 16 and 18 have been charged with first-degree murder in Ms. Proctor's death. The arrests came exactly three months after her burned body was discovered beneath a bridge on the Galloping Goose trail near Victoria.
"All I can say is that I'm happy they are caught and I hope they do a long time in jail. And I guarantee you word will get out about who they are," Melissa Hadju, a friend of Ms. Proctor's, said in an e-mail message Sunday. "Thanks, that's all I have to say."
The suspects were both under the age of 18 at the time of Ms. Proctor's death and therefore cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
They were arrested around 5 p.m. on Friday at separate locations in the suburban community of Langford and are due to make their first appearance in Victoria youth court Monday morning, RCMP said.
The two have been charged with first-degree murder, forcible confinement and offering an indignity to human remains. They have also been charged with sexual assault, an aspect of the case the RCMP had previously refused to confirm.
On a Facebook page set up in Ms. Proctor's memory, news of the arrests triggered a flurry of postings, many offering sympathy and some expressing outrage.
"I hope that these sick individuals will spend the rest of their lives in jail. I am soooo sickened and disgusted," wrote Victoria resident Jen Temple-Tillapaugh.
"My heart is still breaking for you sweetie. … May you rest in peace and these two who did this to you be haunted for the rest of their lives."
While RCMP have acknowledged the suspects were "familiar" with Ms. Proctor, they have refused to elaborate on the nature of that connection.
Her remains were found on a rocky ledge in an area known as a party spot for local teenagers, including students from Ms. Proctor's nearby high school, Pacific Secondary.
RCMP Corporal Darren Lagan declined to reveal where investigators believe the 18-year-old student was killed. He would not say if an accelerant was used to set her body ablaze, nor would he discuss a motive, calling the latter an "integral part of what happened and why things happened."
The Galloping Goose, a cycling and walking trail that winds through the West Shore communities of Colwood and Langford, has been a recurring theme in the investigation.
Less than two weeks after Ms. Proctor's death, police divers were called in to search a section of Glen Lake next to the Galloping Goose in Langford, about five kilometres from where her body was found.
Late last month, the RCMP major crimes unit executed a search warrant on a house near the site police searched at Glen Lake in March.
Investigators seized items from the home's garage and appeared to be scanning the interior with ultraviolet lights used to highlight evidence of genetic material.
However Cpl. Lagan wouldn't say if either of the suspects lived at the house, saying he could risk identifying the accused by providing details.
He also played down speculation that Ms. Proctor's death was linked to her membership in social networking sites such as Facebook, MSN and vampirefreaks.com, which is dedicated to gothic industrial culture.
"She was not somebody who should be referred to as an avid user of vampirefreaks.com," he said. "Kimberly did absolutely nothing to deserve this. Absolutely nothing. This could have been anyone's daughter."
Requesting that the media continue to respect their privacy, the victim's parents, Fred and Lucia Proctor, released a brief, videotaped statement that was made available to news outlets Saturday.
Mr. Proctor described his daughter as a quiet, family-oriented girl who loved animals and spending time at home, chatting with friends on social networking sites and taking care of her many pets.
She was excited about graduating from high school this spring and looking forward to sewing her graduation dress with her grandmother, he said.
"She was a great kid with a big heart, gentle to a fault, always the peacemaker and the problem-solver among her friends," Mr. Proctor said struggling with his emotions.
"Words can not describe what we've been going through."
Special to The Globe and Mail