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Body of Alberta woman killed in Scotland released to the family

Preparations underway for Claire Leveque’s cremation and repatriation to Canada
The remains of 24-year-old Claire Leveque will soon be coming home to Canada. Earlier this week, the body was finally released to the Leveque family and arrangements are now underway for cremation and repatriation as soon as possible. File photo

Claire Leveque will soon be coming home.

A little over a month after 24-year-old Claire Leveque of Westlock, Alberta was murdered in the Shetland Islands, her body has now been released to the family and plans for her cremation and repatriation are being finalized. 

The official release of Claire’s remains came earlier this week, from the lead investigator on the case, Det. Insp Richard Baird with Police Scotland, the second largest force in the UK. Baird called the family to inform them of the news, and are working with an international repatriation company to complete the necessary arrangements and return Claire’s remains to the family.

When contacted Thursday morning, Clint Leveque said he heard the news Wednesday and said he is relieved daughter will soon be back on home soil and noted they still have a long process ahead of them, including the trial and sentencing.

“I’m feeling relieved but realize I have a long battle to go through still,” said Leveque, noting he expects to know details of Claire’s return to Canada by the end of the week. 

Family spokesperson, who is going by the first name of Brenda for privacy reasons, said that the family learned the news in the last couple of days and are now working with an international repatriation company based in the U.K., to assist with the process of bringing Claire home.

“We’re not having a full funeral but we are getting this entity (company) to help us. They coordinate everything — they handle the cremation, they’ll handle all the paperwork, which is very complicated,” said Brenda.

She provided an update on the delay in releasing Claire’s body and confirmed that it was due to the “prosecution just being extremely thorough with the autopsy” and ensured that “any evidence that was potentially on or in her was collected.”

“We’re reassured, once we got the information that it was actually on the prosecution side. It took a bit of a load off for us,” said Brenda. “It was, unfortunately, a necessary delay to ensure everything was done correctly in preparation for trial.” She noted an “overwhelming amount of evidence” (for the case) and said the family is now focused on “bringing any previously unknown information forward to the Scottish police and cooperating to ensure justice is served,” said Brenda. 

Aren Pearson, who is charged in Leveque’s death, appeared at Lerwick Sheriff Court Feb. 22. He was fully committed and remanded in custody.

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Kristine Jean

About the Author: Kristine Jean

Kristine Jean joined the Westlock News as a reporter in February 2022. She has worked as a multimedia journalist for several publications in Ontario, Saskatchewan and Alberta, and enjoys covering community news, breaking news, sports and arts.
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