UPDATE: Accused Lake Country wife killer back in court for bail hearing

"We're all just devastated by what happened."

  • Apr. 15, 2019 12:00 a.m.

The death in a canoe accident in 2016 of Arlene Westervelt (inset photo) on Okanagan Lake led to a police investigation that resulted in the arrest and first appearance of her husband in the Kelowna courthouse Monday. He faces a charge of second-degree murder.

Lambertus “Bert” Westervelt, who was charged last week with the 2016 killing of his wife, could get bail today. A hearing was scheduled for Monday morning, but it’s been moved to later in the afternoon.

It’s Westervelt’s second scheduled appearance in court. He was first there April 8, shortly after his April 6 arrest for second degree murder of Arlene Westervelt, 56.

The murder charge has taken his friends by surprise and confirmed suspicions of hers.

“We’re all just devastated by what happened,” said Bert’s friend, Theresa Frank on the April 8 appearance.

“We all loved Bert. He’s just like our rock.”

READ MORE: OKANAGAN MAN CHARGED IN KILLING

“It’s not just him to do something like that,” added Diane Miller.

On the other side of the spectrum, Arlene’s friends were outside the courthouse breathing a sign of relief that he’d been charged.

In the days that followed her death, RCMP said that Arlene’s death was a tragic accident. She and Bert had been canoeing on the afternoon of June 26, 2016, when their canoe capsized. Police said (Bert) was rescued by a passing boater, but Arlene could not be found.

Despite an extensive search of Okanagan Lake by local fire and rescue personnel that evening, Arlene’s body wasn’t recovered until the following day.

She was found in 35 feet of water, approximately 100 feet from the shore, by trained divers with the RCMP underwater recovery team.

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