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Joseph Beliveau: the ‘cold case’ of Mount Prevost

Police say 2006 shooting death ‘remains under investigation’

If you drive three minutes up Mount Prevost to a newly improved parking area for mountain bikers you will notice a memorial at the upper corner of the gravel lot.

A hockey stick leans against a wooden cross inscribed with the words: “RIP Joseph Beliveau.”

Nothing indicates who Beliveau was or why the memorial was placed at that location.

A review of newspaper files, however, by shows that 27-year-old Beliveau died from a gunshot wound to the head on Mount Prevost on Jan. 31, 2006. His death remains a cold case.

RCMP Corporal Alex Bérubé told that the circumstances surrounding Beliveau’s death “remain under investigation” and that he could not comment further.

That’s pretty much been the police position all along.

The Vancouver Sun reported Feb. 2, 2006, that the Island’s major crime unit had interviewed a person of interest in what they considered a “suspicious death involving a shooting.”

A March 5, 2006, article in the Cowichan Valley News Leader said Beliveau was found about 1.5 kilometres up Mount Prevost, injured but alive. He was taken to Cowichan District Hospital where he died. “It’s a complex investigation and it is going to take time,” police said.

A follow-up article in the News Leader by Mike D’Amour on Dec. 10, 2006, provided more information, based on an interview with Beliveau’s mother, Darlene Holt.

What follows are passages from that article.


On the last day of his life, Joseph Beliveau told his mother he was on his way to Nanaimo to visit her.

It was a trip he never made.

The 27-year-old ex-con was found less than two hours later on Mount Prevost, critically wounded from a single gunshot wound to the head.

“I was getting worried when my son didn't show up," said Holt. ”I kept calling his cellphone but got no response.”

Police are releasing few details of the investigation, but here are the known facts: Beliveau and another man went up Mount Prevost. At some point Beliveau was shot.

On the drive down the mountain, the second man used a cellphone to call the authorities at about 1:20 p.m.

"Two men went up that mountain, and only one came down," said Holt.

Holt dismissed any notion her son's wound was self-inflicted.

"Joe always thought suicide was the coward's way out and he never, ever considered taking his own life," she said.

Yet Holt said she has no illusions about her son.

"He was a drug addict," she said, noting he'd spent stretches of his life behind bars for violent crimes.

But there was another side to her son, she said.

“I have in my head who Joe really was, a deep thinker with a great sense of human compassion — children, animals, old people, they all loved him.”

The grieving mom said her boy tried several times to quit the drug — crack cocaine — that was ruining his life.

“He was a human being and something needs to be done.”


If you have information on Beliveau’s death, call North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP at 250-748-5522.

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— Larry Pynn, Nov. 22, 2023


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