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Remembering Claire Leveque, 24-year-old murdered in Scotland

R.F. Staples teacher shares memories of slain Westlock woman
A photo of 24-year old Claire Leveque provided by Shetland police. Leveque, who was from Westlock, was murdered Feb. 11, following a report of a disturbance in the Sandness area of Shetland. The accused, a 39-year old man who many believe was her boyfriend Aren Pearson, has been charged with her murder.

WESTLOCK —A woman who was murdered in Shetland earlier this month is being remembered as a reserved girl with a good sense of humour. 

Following the shocking news of a Westlock woman’s murder in Shetland earlier this month, local residents are remembering 24-year-old Claire Leveque.

Police were called to an incident Feb. 11, following a report of a disturbance in the Sandness area of Shetland around 4:55 p.m. local time. A young woman, later identified as Claire Leveque, was pronounced dead at the scene.

A 39-year-old man was arrested and charged in connection with the incident and has made two appearances at Lerwick Sheriff Court, where he has entered no plea and remains in custody.

R.F. Staples teacher Susan Bowsfield, who taught Leveque Grade 11 English in 2016, is remembering the quiet young woman after news of her sudden death overseas.

“She was very quiet, quite a reserved young lady,” said Bowsfield. “She had a really good sense of humour and she worked hard at having a positive outlook.”

Bowsfield recalled that Claire’s mother Kathleen, had been sick for several years while she attended high school. Her mother passed away from cancer shortly after Clair graduated from R.F. Staples School in 2017.

”I think she had been sick through a lot of Claire’s high school experience so I think that makes for very difficult moments,” said Bowsfield, recalling a beautiful young lady with “dark hair and dark eyes.”

“It was transformative to see her current photos with her blond hair and blue eyes,” she said, noting that since then, many teachers who were there in Claire’s day are now retired or have moved on to other schools.

“Certainly, those of us who did teach her have had conversations but we are few and far between now with so many new staff,” she added, noting a grad photo of Leveque with her Class of 2017, hangs on the school wall.

Bowsfield said she and many others were shocked to hear about Leveque’s murder and noted that while she has experienced a student’s death previously, “this one seem to hit very hard because of the violence of it and the fear connected to the idea of murder,” she said.

“For me, I think living in a small community we sometimes believe we’re untouchable by this world outside of us that has violence,” said Bowsfield. “So I think that shock is pretty high.”

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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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