A Canadian Woman Who Drowned Her High School Classmate Was Granted Day Parole — Again
14-year-old Reena Virk was beaten and murdered by a mob of teens in British Columbia, Canada, in 1997.
The Canadian woman who held her classmate’s head underwater until she died in 1997 was recently granted an extension to her day parole.
Kelly Ellard was 15 years old when she and a group of teens got into a scuffle with Reena Virk in a suburb of Victoria, British Columbia. According to the Canadian Encyclopedia, Virk was a troubled teen who ran away from her family, and was placed in a group home. Virk was also a victim of bullying at the hands of her schoolmates. The night the physical fight broke out, Virk was reportedly confronted by a girl whom Virk had reportedly been gossiping about, and the confrontation turned violent, with a mob of teens beating Virk as she screamed.
Eventually, the teens walked away from Virk, and Virk attempted to get up and walk home, but she was attacked again by Kelly Ellard and 16-year-old Warren Glowatski. Virk was rendered unconscious by a blow to the head, and the pair dragged her to a nearby river, where she was held underwater until she drowned.
It took police eight days to find her body.
Six of the teens who beat Virk that night were charged as juveniles in the assault, but Ellard and Glowatski were charged as adults for Virk’s murder and sentenced to life in prison.
According to reports, Ellard was unrepentant for the first several years of her sentence and often found herself in trouble for not following prison rules. That began to change, and she was ultimately granted day parole in 2017. In Canada, day parole allows prisoners to be released into the community during the day, and they must return to their prisons or halfway houses at night. In some cases, prisoners are granted extended parole and may spend some nights at their homes instead of in custody. Parole boards make recommendations about the terms based on a prisoner’s crime and behavior while behind bars.
For Ellard, who later changed her name to Kerry Sims, day parole allowed her to have two children with her partner, but her parole was briefly revoked in 2021 for reportedly using drugs and alcohol. Her parole was reinstated after two months, and she remains on day parole with several restrictions.
As for the Virks, the family started a campaign to bring awareness to bullying in schools and violence among teenagers. In 2009, Virk’s parents were awarded the Anthony J. Hulme Award of Distinction for their work on raising awareness.