Kelly Ellard: Reena Virk’s Murderer is a Mother of Two Today

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In Hulu’s ‘Under the Bridge,’ the death of a 14-year-old girl, Reena Virk, shakes the community of a Canadian town called Saanich. What rattles the investigators and everyone who hears the story is the actions of other teenagers, who exhibit brutality unexpected of children. The show follows the story from the perspective of a writer who returns to her hometown after staying away for ten years and a police officer who has been there her whole life but is itching to get away. As their paths converge, we find out about their backstories as the final moments of young Reena are pieced together to figure out what really happened to her. The answer belongs to two people, one of whom is Kelly Ellard.

Kelly Ellard is Out on Day Parole

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Now in her 40s, Kelly Ellard, who goes by the name of Kerry Marie Sim, is out on day parole while serving her life sentence. This grants her freedom to live outside of prison at a community-based residential facility, where she has to report to her parole officer regularly. She is free to participate in community-based activities and get a job to support herself. Her day parole also puts several conditions on her, all of which she must abide by to extend the parole in the future. These conditions ask her to report all of her relationships (romantic or otherwise) and friendships to her parole officer and also when there is a change in status in any of the said relationships.

She is also to receive psychiatric treatment to help her with her mental health issues, which include her history of anxiety and substance abuse. She has two children with Darwin Duane Dorozan, whom she met as a pen pal while in prison, married, and later divorced. According to the condition of her parole, she is not allowed to have any contact with Dorozan without the supervision or written consent of her parole officer. This condition is due to Dorozan’s own criminal history.

Ellard was convicted of murdering Reena Virk in November 1997. At the time, she was fifteen years old and was prosecuted for being an accomplice in beating Virk with a group of other girls and, later, drowning her in Gorge Waterway. Despite being a minor at the time of the crime and the court hearing, Ellard was tried as an adult and found guilty of second-degree murder, for which she received a life sentence. She appealed the conviction three times until, in 2009, the Supreme Court of Canada upheld the decision, and she was sent to serve her sentence in Abbotsford women’s prison. At first, Ellard struggled in prison, developing a problem with substance abuse. In 2016, she was pregnant with her first child, whom she gave birth to in prison. In 2020, she gave birth to her second child but had been out on day parole by that time.

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One of the things that had initially worked against Ellard was her refusal to accept proper responsibility for her actions. Around 2012, she tried to contact Virk’s family and wrote a private letter to them in which she requested to have a face-to-face meeting with them, something that they had granted to Warren Glowatski, who was also convicted for Virk’s murder. However, the family didn’t grant her a meeting, as they didn’t believe Ellard showed remorse for her actions. It wasn’t until 2016, in her parole hearing, that she finally accepted her role in Virk’s death in clear terms, confessing that if it hadn’t been for her actions, Virk might still have been alive.

Ellard was first granted day parole in November 2017. Virk’s mother expressed her disappointment with the parole board’s decision. By 2020, Ellard was allowed to spend up to five days a week away from the residential facility where she was housed as a condition of her parole. In August 2021, her day parole was suspended due to an incidence of violence with her partner, which she did not report. However, the suspension was canceled by October 2021. In 2022, she was denied full parole, as she waived her right to it after confessing that she was “situationally” not ready for it. In 2023, her day parole was further extended, as the board noted progress in her and found her “motivated to live a pro-social life,” complying diligently with the special conditions put on her while serving as the primary caregiver for her two children.

Read More: Where is Warren Glowatski Now?