Oak Bay man could be charged with manslaughter

Death of Owen Padmore re-investigated

Police are recommending a manslaughter charge against an Oak Bay man in the 2001 death of Owen Padmore.

Oak Bay police Const. Laurence Riel said Tuesday officers arrested three people last week in connection with the death of the 31-year-old Oak Bay resident. Two of the three were released without charges, but a third, a 38-year-old man, could face criminal charges.

“Two years ago, we received information about the death of Mr. Padmore that … could result in new information about the file,” Riel said.

Padmore had been visiting his mother’s house in central Oak Bay on Dec. 10, 2001. Sometime that day he received internal head injuries and his mother called an ambulance. He was rushed to Victoria General Hospital, where he died the next day.

Oak Bay investigators didn’t initially rule out foul play. But a coroner’s report and witness statements at the time resulted in Padmore’s death being classified as non-suspicious.

Two years ago, someone came forward to police with new information about the death. An investigation was relaunched, but Riel wouldn’t provide details about that person, or what the new information entailed.

Last Thursday, officers arrested the 38-year-old suspect, who Riel said was at the house where Padmore stayed the night before he died. With no history of criminal activity, the man was released from police custody, but was forced to surrender his passport and ordered not to travel.

Asked whether the suspect is a relative of Padmore, Riel would only say he didn’t want to “jeopardize the ongoing investigation” by releasing that information.

The suspect appears in court June 23.

Up to eight Oak Bay officers, including Riel for a time, worked on the renewed investigation along with major crime officers from Saanich and RCMP officers.

Riel mentioned “several” injuries had been sustained by Padmore, but didn’t share any further details. Police would have more information to share after charges were sworn against the suspect, he said.

“The nature of police work calls for support and co-operation from its citizens – information is crucial to most types of calls for police service,” police Chief Derek Egan said in a press release. “With timely, good information our successes, the community successes, will continue keeping Oak Bay one of the safest communities in the country”.

ecardone@vicnews.com