POLITICS

Man found dead with his family in Saskatchewan ditch was depressed: family

05/30/2012 01:36 EDT | Updated 07/30/2012 05:12 EDT
ST. WALBURG, Sask. - The family of a man who was found dead in a Saskatchewan ditch along with his wife and two-year-old son says he had struggled with depression.

In a statement released to the media, relatives of Darren Wourms say they recognized that his mental health had deteriorated within the last five months.

"He was battling a depression that none of us fully understood," the family wrote.

The statement said Wourms's wife, Hayley, supported him through it all.

"Hayley was a light wherever she went. She was deeply loved by our entire family. Cayden was a social butterfly who loved his cousins. His dimpled grin is a memory we'll always cherish. Darren was a devoted father and loving husband who absolutely adored Hayley and Cayden," the family said.

"The beauty and success of their family makes it all the harder to accept or understand this tragedy."

Darren, 26, and Hayley, 23, were found dead in a ditch Monday with their son. The trio had been visiting family near St. Walburg, Sask., and were heading home to Airdrie, a bedroom community on the northern outskirts of Calgary.

Saskatchewan RCMP said a rifle and the family's car were found nearby.

RCMP have stopped short of calling the deaths a murder-suicide, but they have said that they don't believe there are any suspects.

Mounties in Alberta confirmed they got a call April 24 from relatives concerned for the well-being of the family and that the man involved was taken to hospital for a psychiatric evaluation.

The family said Wourms was prescribed medication and released.

Sgt. Patricia Neely said RCMP in Airdrie have reviewed the case to ensure that all protocols were followed and appropriate steps taken. Neely said mental health services and other agencies also stepped in to help the family.

"It's a very difficult and tragic circumstance and you always wonder whether or not there was more that you could have done. And I'm sure everybody is looking, going did we miss something, was there something else that we could have done that would have helped prevent this" she said.

"The answer is unknown. I don't know that we'll ever know that. Organizations and the RCMP, we can only do the best that we can with the resources and the information that we have at the time."

Neely said officers spoke to Hayley Wourms, but Neely wouldn't release specific details. Officers also considered the well-being of the woman and child, she said.

Reports say Darren Wourms had taken a medical leave from his job as an engineer at an energy company where officials had been in touch with his wife to help her get access to resources to help him.

The officials said she never expressed concern about her own safety.

Wourms was scheduled for a followup with a counsellor in Alberta on the day the bodies were found.

The family said anything they know about the deaths has come from the RCMP.

"We await the conclusion of their investigation as another step in our ongoing grieving."

They have requested privacy.