It was an emotional goodbye for Danielle ‘Deedee’ Charlton’s friends and family Thursday.
The funeral for the 35-year-old was held in Aldergrove Sept. 28.
Her loved ones, including estranged husband Charlie Charlton, are remembering a mother of four and talented tattoo artist who was killed in a car crash outside Hope Sept. 11.
That day, the suspect in an alleged jewelry heist in Nelson stole a rental car’s licence plates and then crashed his stolen car – an Equinox – near Hope, killing Deedee, who was the passenger in the vehicle.
Anthony Creed Cortez was arrested Sept. 20 in Revelstoke and is now in custody.
No charges have been laid in the crash that killed Deedee, in which an SUV slammed into a highway maintenance vehicle, however Hope traffic services have stated that their suspect is in now in police custody on an unrelated charge.
On Wednesday, Charlie and his two sons with Deedee — 13-year-old Charles and 12-year-old Danny — reflected on happier times as they prepared to say farewell to a young woman who loved her children dearly.
“When we were together, she was a good mother, she volunteered at the elementary school, she was a very good tattoo artist, she was very artistic,” Charlie said.
Charlie and Deedee spoke for the last time two days before the accident. “She gave me her tablet to hold onto and she said that she’d be right back. She was trying to change her life, and she was making all these changes in her life, and she wanted to stop seeing this guy (Cortez). He kept bugging her, and bugging her, and bugging her.”
Charlie and Deedee had been together, sporadically, for 15 years. “Always on and off, on and off,” Charlie said.
He takes some solace in the fact Cortez, who is charged with assaulting Deedee on April 16 of this year, is in custody.
Cortez is also charged with breaching a no-contact order with Deedee four times – one in April, one in May and two in June.
“Closure would be when we see what kind of sentence (the driver) gets,” Charlie said. “If he gets less than 10 years, I think that would be an injustice.”
– Files from Martha Wickett, Black Press