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Kelowna  

Charges 'finally' laid

UPDATE: 1 p.m.

Friends of a Lake Country woman whose death was originally thought to be an accident, say charges were a long time coming.

Originally, police said the death was an accident, but on Friday her husband, Lambertus Westervelt, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder.

A close friend of the deceased says when she heard the murder charge, which comes almost three years after Arlene Westervelt's death, she thought “finally.”

“Three years we’ve been waiting for this,” said Kaye Davidson.

A Kelowna courtroom was packed with friends supporting both the deceased and accused on Monday morning. The 63-year-old accused appeared stunned. 

The deceased was described as a woman who loved to travel and a marathon runner. She was originally from Grande Prairie, Alta., and had been married to Lambertus for almost 30 years at the time of her death.

“He is like our rock … we are all just devastated by what has happened,” said Theresa Frank, who met Lambertus after the incident. 

“It’s a shock to everybody, because anyone who knew him would never think anything like this is possible because he loved his wife very much,” said Diane Miller.

Cory Armour, Lambertus’s lawyer, said he had no comment about how his client is doing at this time. 

Davidson said a lot of family and friends of Arlene's are in Grande Prairie, Alta., but there is a large community of people who loved her in Kelowna as well. 

A dedicated tip line has been created by the Southeast District Major Crime Unit for anyone who has information in this case at 1-877-987-8477.

Lambertus is schedule to next appear in court April 15 at 9:30 a.m.


ORIGINAL: noon

A Lake Country man charged in connection with the 2016 death of his wife briefly appeared in Kelowna Law Courts Monday morning. 

Lambertus Westervelt was arrested Friday and charged with second-degree murder, almost three years after his wife drowned in Okanagan Lake. 

Arlene Susan Westervelt was 56 when she died while canoeing near Lake Country. The boat capsized about 100 feet from shore, and Lambertus was the only one who surfaced. He was rescued by a passing boater.

Neither of them were wearing lifejackets. 

The death was originally believed to be accidental, but is now considered a homicide by police. 

Arlene’s body was found the next day by divers, in about 12 metres of water. 

Lambertus appeared stunned as he entered the courtroom, Monday, wearing a brown and white flannel dress shirt that was wrinkled and rolled up to his elbows. 

He addressed friends in the courtroom by saying ‘Hi’ as he walked in.

His lawyer, Cory Armour, says he wants to get his client immediately into Supreme Court to file an application for bail. 



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