By MICHAEL LAYCOCK
The Free Press (Fernie, B.C.)
June 1, 1994

The two children found dead in their Sparwood home May 27 were strangled, RCMP say.

An autopsy conducted Saturday morning in Cranbrook determined the cause of death of Shannon Warsing, 7 months, and Stuart Warsing, 7, Const. Bill Andreaschuk said in a press release late Monday afternoon.

The children’s step-brother, Kristian Lee Warsing, appeared in Cranbrook provincial court earlier on Monday to face two charges of first-degree murder. Warsing, 19, is also charged with the attempted murder of his step-mother, Debra Warsing, 35.

Warsing, who was arrested May 28 in Fernie after an intense, day-and-a-half air and ground search by area RCMP detachments, will appear in court again Thursday to enter a plea, Andreaschuk said in an interview May 30.

Funeral services for the two Warsing children will be held Thursday at 1 p.m. at the Sparwood Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Sparwood RCMP responded to an 8 a.m. telephone call on May 27 from Debra Warsing. She said she had been stabbed several times with a barbecue skewer and her two young children were missing.

When police arrived at the Warsing home, they found both children dead.

A woman who lives in the townhouse directly across from the Warsing residence said she was alarmed by Debra Warsing’s cries for help shortly after 7:30 a.m.

“Someone started screaming, ‘Oh my God, help me! Help me!” Margaret Busato said in an interview.

Busato said she looked out her kitchen window and saw Debra Warsing collapsed on the pavement.

Busato rushed outside to Warsing’s aid, and the two went to Busato’s home.

“She kept saying she wanted her babies,” Busato said. “It was pretty bad. Her eyes had been sprayed with paint, and she was just a mess.”

Debra Warsing was listed in good condition in Sparwood general hospital Monday, according to the hospital administrator.

Kristian Warsing was arrested shortly after 4 p.m. May 28 in a residential area of Fernie after a foot chase involving an emergency response team, a helicopter and police dogs.

Sparwood RCMP Const. M.E. Hewer confirmed the suspect was cornered under a pick-up truck canopy in a backyard at 10th Avenue and 5th Street.

Fernie resident Barb Neidig and her eight-year-old daughter said they saw a man walk across a nearby road a few minutes before the arrest. Neidig, who was with her daughter in their parked van at the time, honked the horn to get the attention of other children in the yeard, then took her daughter into a relative’s apartment.

Sparwood Mayor Toto Miller said news of an arrest has brought a sense of relief to his community. In an interview May 28, Miller said Sparwood residents were in a state of numbed shock after the murder.

“There’s been sort of a silence, a joint feeling of grief,” Miller said.

But when news of an arrest was announced at Sparwood secondary school’s graduation ceremonies earlier that evening, it was greeted with cheers and applause, he added.