Belleville mourns loss of Jessica Lloyd

Friends, family gather to honour one of the alleged victims of Col. Russell Williams

Belleville won’t be the same without Jessica Lloyd.

Black clad RCMP officers huddled in the cold and a crowd of photographers looked on from across the street as hundreds of friends, family members and well-wishers piled into the grey stucco chapel at the John R. Bush funeral home on Saturday to pay their final respects to the 27-year-old.

“If you really knew Jessica you knew that she had enough love in her life to touch everyone,” said her cousin, John Lloyd, one of two family members who spoke at the funeral. “She had that wonderful ‘joie de vivre’” added his sister Sarah.

The pair described Jessica as a strong willed, vibrant girl who embraced country living and loved the Toronto Maple leafs so much that she wanted to some day name one of her children “Tie.”

“She loved the beauty of an overnight frost in the countryside,” said Rev. Cathy Paul.

John Lloyd spoke about Jessica’s friendly rivalry with her brother over who had the fastest car, and told the story of his cousin dressing as Tina Turner for Halloween when she was seven.

He said someone asked her if being so heavily made up meant she was supposed to be a hooker.

“She stopped in her tracks, put her hands on her hips and said ‘Yes!’ … she didn’t even know what a hooker was,” he said. When Lloyd was reported missing last month her community rallied together, with volunteers canvassing her neighbourhood and plastering the region with missing persons posters.

“We tried to help as best we could,” says Michael Hayward, who attended the funeral and helped with the poster campaign.
Last week, Lloyd’s body was found off of a rural road in Tweed. Col. Russell Williams, commander of CFB Trenton, was charged with the murder. He’s also accused of killing Corporal Marie-France Comeau, and of sexually assaulting two other women.

The horror of Lloyd’s murder has seared everyone who knew her or her family.

“When I found out that she was deceased, there was such a tremendous sadness,” says Haywood.

“There’s a hole in everybody’s heart.” added Hayward’s wife, Gale.

Belleville is a part of the Highway of Heroes—its residents join with thousands to line the 401 each time a fallen soldier is repatriated—and anyone who grew up playing hockey would play in CFB Trenton’s arena. The close relationship between the base and the city have made the killings, especially of one of Belleville’s most well-known daughters, even more shocking.

“This weird betrayal is very deep in this community,” says Zack Werner, a judge on Canadian Idol who’s also the city’s weekend rock DJ. “It’s a very personal thing. … I think they’re going to feel that around here for a long time. A feeling of alienation. A feeling that it’s not their community anymore.”




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Belleville mourns loss of Jessica Lloyd

  1. I hate to nitpick but Belleville is NOT part of the Highway of Heroes. It starts on Old Highway 2 on the east side of the air base, goes up RCAF Road and along Hamilton Road to the 401 and west to Toronto. The Highway of Heroes does not go anywhere near Belleville which is to to the East. If the Belleville residents are lining the Highway of Heroes, they are coming to Trenton to do it. You need to check your facts a little better.

    • get a griip Elizabeth. This article isn't about the highway it is about a young women's life and her death.

    • Many, many military personnel live in Belleville. Belleville, North of Belleville, the 'County' , Trenton and Quinte West are part of community. The highway of heroes begins in part of this community. There is no need for you to be so rude. Also take a look at the article you are commenting on? What is wrong with you?

  2. Well if you HATE to nitpick then why bother. Tom does do a lot of research and people from Belleville do take part in the Highway of Heroes. Tom took his Saturday unpaid to go report on this for your benefit; maybe you could show a little once of respect for the topic and reporter.

    • I do have to agree with the other person. It is fabulous that the reporter did work on his own time to do the article. It is a very very sad story that had to be told. However, too many times I have read articles about the Willaims case with incorrect information given by the reporters. It drives my insane when I see that. It is the incorrect writing that give the public two, three and some times for different stories………and, which one is the correct one. When will the media learn to have ALL the information correct Before publicly displaying it. This may not big a big issue, where the highway of hero's starts or ends, but for god sakes, can't they get it Right!!!! Thats not too difficult. Its not even a secret!

  3. Elizabeth–you've just reduced a wonderfully articulated article to a petty argument over geography. Clearly Mr. Henheffer meant that the community of Belleville participates in, and identifies with, the Highway of Heroes, given Belleville's proximity to the stretch of highway. Mr. Henheffer has just delivered an excellent piece of journalism, and about a truly tragic event at that. It's a shame you didn't have the heart to see it that way.

  4. Belleville is just not the same city we grew up in …. what went wrong?

  5. none – belleville has just become like any other city in the world now. we were spoiled by its peacefulness and simplicity before and it has plasted rose colored glasses onto the faces of every belleville citizen. belleville, in reality, is "no worse" than any other city, in fact, the recent string of murders vastly pales in comparison to other cities, but the stark contrast is what makes it appear so much worse.