A funeral service was held for Melissa Brenda Joe on Dec. 24 at St. Ann’s Church in Duncan following a prayer service the night before at the Shaker church.
She was 28.
Joe has been identified by multiple sources as the victim of a fallen tree during the windstorm on Dec. 20.
“I’m so lost….. big time… waiting for her to call,” wrote her devastated sister Christie Joe on Facebook.
Cowichan Tribes chief William “Chip” Seymour (Squtxulenuhw) said Joe was not homeless herself but had been checking up with family and friends in the homeless camp.
“It was something she did regularly,” he said.
Seymour noted Joe had awoken early that morning to get her young daughter off to school before checking on the group.
The incident occurred southeast of the Silver Bridge just south of Duncan around 11:25 a.m.
The BC Coroners Service is investigating.
“The tent was occupied at the time by five people. One female was found to be deceased and two males sustained injuries,” said North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Tammy Douglas in a statement. “One of the males was airlifted and the other was transported to hospital for treatment.”
Dec. 20 saw high winds cause widespread damage throughout the Cowichan Valley, knocking down trees and power lines. BC Hydro called it one of the worst storms they’ve seen in years, with tens of thousands without power.