The investigation into the death of a Cowichan Tribes member as a result of Thursday’s windstorm continues. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

B.C. woman killed by a fallen tree was checking in on homeless camp: Chief

Melissa Joe, 28, stopped by the encampment to visit friends and family staying there

Melissa Brenda Joe, the woman killed by a fallen tree during this month’s severe windstorm, was remembered by friends and family as she was laid to rest on Christmas Eve.

She was 28.

Joe has been identified by multiple sources as the woman who died while inside a tent at a homeless camp, and we’re learning more about exactly why she was there in the first place.

READ MORE: Cowichan Valley one of windstorm’s hardest hit areas

Cowichan Tribes chief William “Chip” Seymour (Squtxulenuhw) said Joe was not homeless herself but had been checking up with family and friends at the encampment.

“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 just south of Duncan.

“I’m so lost….. big time… waiting for her to call,” wrote her devastated sister, Christie Joe, on Facebook.

The BC Coroners Service is investigating. Two other men sustained injuries and one was airlifted 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.



sarah.simpson@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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