Sister of Joey Whalen calls incident ‘a cruel act’
Ada Whalen could not believe her ears when she heard the gravesite of her late brother Joey Whalen — whose death last month is being treated as a homicide — had been disturbed.
“It’s unbelievable — such a cruel act,” said Ada.
Joseph (Joey) Patrick Whalen, 47, died in hospital on March 17 from injuries sustained four days earlier at a house on Tessier Place in St. John’s. A day after his death, the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary arrested 34-year-old Ken Edward Green. Green is charged with second-degree murder.
According to an RNC news release, officers were called to Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Mount Pearl shortly after 9 a.m. on Wednesday to investigate a report that a gravesite had been disturbed overnight. Police are treating the matter as a possible indignity to a human body.
At the gravesite, there was evidence to indicate some digging had taken place. Ada Whalen confirmed to The Telegram that whoever was at the gravesite prior to Wednesday morning managed to dig two feet into the ground.
A stone angel was damaged at the gravesite along with some solar lights, and flowers were scattered in front of it. Footprints were also observed in the area surrounding it.
The family plot also serves as the final resting place for three of Joey Whalen’s relatives — mother Doris Margaret Whalen, brother Edward Whalen, and sister-in-law Linda Whalen.
Asked if the family had its own suspicions about who might have done such a thing, Ada Whalen said, “Not that I know of.” She added police have advised the family to contact them first with any information it may have to help catch the culprit(s).
“This is all a shock to us. We have no idea, as of right now, why (this happened).”
She said her brother’s death has been very hard on the family.
“My brother was just brutally beaten to death. And now this. It’s unreal.”
Ada Whalen saw her brother in hospital prior to his death and said his body looked like something you would see on an American crime television series.
“When he was into the hospital, he was brutally bleeding. It was like something you would see on Criminal Minds or CSI. It was unreal what was done to him. We can’t get it out of our minds.”
The RNC said according to the Criminal Code of Canada, anyone can be found guilty of an indictable offence if they have “improperly or indecently” interfered with or committed an indignity to a human body.
The home to which police were called on Tessier Place on March 13 is believed to have been a drug house, according to reports from people in the neighbourhood. A public meeting involving residents of the area, members of city council, and the RNC was scheduled to take place Wednesday evening.
Green’s case will be back in court on May 8.