On Wednesday, December 6th, 22-year-old Martin Vandenberg was apprehended under the Mental Health Act in connection with the death of his mother, 47-year-old Heather Jones.
According to a press release, he has now been arrested by officers of the Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit and charged with second-degree murder.
“We understand that the news of Heather’s death was shocking to all those who knew her and to the close knit community of Salt Spring Island,” stated Sgt. Ferguson of the Vancouver Island Major Crime Unit.
“We would like to thank the community of Salt Spring for their assistance and support throughout this investigation.”
A failed system?
Members of the family spoke to Times Colonist after the charges were announced, talking about how they felt like two family members have now been lost.
Martin’s father, Martin Vandenberg Sr., also expressed his dismay at what he views is a failed system. He argued that his son is mentally disabled and has never received a proper diagnosis, or the help he needed.
He was also distressed about the fact that his son was moved from Royal Jubilee Hospital to police cells, which would not be doing him any good.
Martin Vandenberg is scheduled to appear in Victoria provincial court on Tuesday, January 9th.
In the meantime, a memorial service for Heather Jones was held yesterday at the Community Gospel Chapel in Salt Spring Island, to help the community heal after her tragic and untimely death.