‘She was very loved’: B.C. woman killed in Mexico remembered by community

Originally from B.C., Valery Vardabasso was found dead in her Puerto Peñasco, Mexico, home on Dec. 14, 2023. It's still unclear what happened to her but many are demanding answers. "She was very loved," a local journalist says. Kate Walker has more.

A woman originally from B.C. has been found dead in her home in Mexico.

Fifty-nine-year-old Valery Vardabasso, from Prince George, had been living in Puerto Peñasco when her body was found in her home on Dec. 14.

Mexican journalist Hector Aldrete originally published the story about Varadabasso’s death, citing an incident report sent out by local police.

The El Periodico De Frente reporter tells CityNews the woman was found after a neighbour saw an empty vehicle running in her driveway for a long period of time, and suspected something was wrong.

“He kind of suspected that something happened to her, so he went and looked into her home and then he saw in the bathroom window, he saw a body laying down in the bathroom floor,” Adrete said.

A map showing Puerto Peñasco, Mexico, and Vancouver
FILE – Valery Vardabasso, originally from B.C., was found dead in her Puerto Peñasco, Mexico, home on Dec. 14, 2023.

Aldrete describes some of the horrific details that were found inside the police report, noting investigators had said Varadabasso was allegedly found tied up inside her bathroom.

The town of Puerto Peñasco – also known as Rocky Point — is a popular tourist destination. Puerto Peñasco is just south of the Arizona border and is a hub for many Canadian and American snowbirds who go to vacation or buy properties. It’s been a quiet town as of late, according to Aldrete, as the border with Lukeville, Arizona is closed.

CityNews spoke with some of Valery’s friends, who wanted to remain anonymous, but say Varadabasso was a lovely woman and confirmed she was originally from Prince George.

Those in Mexico say she was an integral part of the community and became a local in her many years spent living in Mexico.

“Valery, she was very appreciated in the community here because she was a big part of the activities, and the fundraisers and other things. She was very loved,” said Aldrete.

There has been an outpouring of sadness and frustration on social media, with some questioning how or why someone would do this to Varadabasso.

Her death has shaken many who live in the community who say the news has come as a shock to everyone, especially in an area with little to no crime.

As for any suspects or a motive, police in Mexico are remaining tight lipped. Aldrete tells CityNews his story in El Periodico De Frente, the online news outlet in Puerto Peñasco, has since been taken down.

He says authorities asked him to remove the story of Vardabasso’s death, claiming it would impede the investigation.

“There’s not a lot of tourists coming but the local people that live here in the American community, they’re not really scared because this … doesn’t happen often. But they’re intrigued because there’s not a lot of information,” Aldrete said.

“The local news, there was me and another [outlet], like radio, that took out the story. So we’re just waiting for information to come to know if there’s a suspect or something.”

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