Kelly Ellard Was 15 Years Old When She Was Found Guilty of Murder — Where Is She Now?

Kelly Ellard would later testify that she didn't actually have to drown Reena Virk. She was already not breathing.

Jennifer Tisdale - Author

Apr. 16 2024, Published 3:30 p.m. ET

Rebecca Godfrey's obituary in the New York Times reads like a work of fiction. The novelist and nonfiction writer passed away from lung cancer on Oct. 3, 2022. She was only 54. Godfrey was best known for her unique ability to tap into the horror that is being a teenager. In particular, she was drawn to stories of young people committing atrocities because Godfrey was in search of their humanity during those dark times. She believed that we are not what we do.

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Her most gripping work was about a murder that occurred in the small Canadian town where she was from. Under the Bridge was unlike anything anyone had ever seen, and was often compared to Truman Capote's In Cold Blood, in that it opened people up to a previously under-explored world. The world was that of teen girl friendships with a focus on one of the killers, Kelly Ellard. She would eventually be convicted of second-degree murder. Where is she now? Here's what we know.

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Where is Kelly Ellard now?

According to the Times Colonist as of May 2023, Ellard now goes by the name Kerry Marie Sim and is still in prison where she's been since 2000. The then-40 year-old had gotten her day parole extended another six months which means she could continue leaving the prison during the day for "community-based activities," such as employment.

In 2020 Sim was "allowed to live away from a ­residential facility for up to five days each week," per the outlet, but was quickly overwhelmed by personal issues which included intimate partner violence. When Sim failed to report the abuse, her parole was suspended in August 2021 though it was reinstated two months later. While in prison, Sim gave birth to two children and is the primary caregiver for both of them. She is not allowed to have contact with her ex-husband "without supervision or written consent from her parole officer," the outlet reports.

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Sim is also following a strict mental health plan. This includes regularly seeing a psychologist as well as abstaining from drugs and alcohol. The parole board has been complimentary about Sim's efforts, saying (as summed up by the Times-Colonist) that she is "motivated to live a pro-social life and to become more independent in the community."

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What did Kelly Ellard do?

Ellard, along with seven other girls and one boy, brutally beat 14-year-old Reena Virk in November 1997. CTV News reported that after Virk had stumbled away, bloody and clearly gravely injured, Ellard and a boy named Warren Glowatski followed. Virk had wandered near the Gorge Waterway where she collapsed. During her hearing, Ellard said she "flicked a lighter" and held it up to Virk's face which is when she saw it was covered in blood.

Apparently Ellard asked Glowatski to drag Virk closer to the water so she could splash water on the unconscious girl's face. When Virk didn't respond, Ellard said she panicked and pushed her into the water. "I was only thinking of myself," she said. "It's like almost I just thought in my mind, it would just carry the problem away." Later, Glowatski would testify that he saw Ellard drown Virk. Ellard claimed Virk was unresponsive, therefore she "didn't need to hold her head under water."

Their reasons for killing Virk are rooted in vengeance. The less popular Virk stole a journal that belonged to a friend of Ellard's and proceeded to use the information against her. As punishment for this deed, Ellard and her friends vowed to beat her and took it too far.

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