The divorce between Duane Lucius and Laura Coward of Alberta, Canada, wasn’t an easy one. The couple separated in October 2007, and the divorce wasn’t granted until August 2014.
The divorce was contentious, bitter, and involved a nasty custody battle over their young daughter, Amber. The fact that Duane Lucius wanted his daughter very much seemed to incite his ex-wife’s wrath and determination that he wouldn’t get Amber.
I think it’s fair to say that Laura Coward viewed her beautiful daughter as less a person with thoughts and feelings, and more a bargaining chip or weapon she could use to hurt Duane Lucius.
Despite there being 10 court orders that directed Laura Coward to allow her ex access to Amber, she did not comply. Not good. The court wasn’t impressed, so in June 2013 Duane Lucius was granted full custody.
Amber had a happy life with her father. They lived on a farm near Millet, Alberta, and the fun-loving girl had good times playing outside.
At the end of August 2014, the divorce was finalized and the custody battle was over. Amber, then 9, was going to stay with her father for good.
Amber was also allowed to visit her mother. On August 28, 2014, the Labour Day long weekend, Duane Lucius dropped off his beloved daughter. He expected her back home in 3 days’ time. She had to get ready for the start of school.
Amber did not return home. I’m sure Duane Lucius was more than a little pissed off as he drove to Laura Coward’s home to fetch his daughter. I can’t imagine how he felt when he discovered his ex had moved out, and Amber was nowhere to be found.
The RCMP was called, and 35 officers were involved in the case. Tragically, there could have been 135 officers and it wouldn’t have changed the outcome for Amber Grace Lucius.
At around 10:30 p.m. on August 30, 2014, Laura Coward took Amber away from a group of friends to go “star gazing”. She drove to get some Timbits (a tasty Canadian treat from Tim Hortons) in Sundre. As her daughter enjoyed the treat, she continued to drive her SUV down a rural road until she hit a dead end. They were near a remote property that belonged to her former boyfriend.
At that time, nighttime in the middle of nowhere, Alberta, Laura Coward produced some sleeping pills she’d stolen from a friend. It was Zopiclone.
I don’t know how she managed to get the pills inside Amber, but she successfully administered a toxic (but not lethal) dose of the medication. The girl passed out. According to Laura Coward, she likewise took a toxic dose.
I gather that the plan was to kill them both with an overdose. Selfish bitch!
Eventually, Laura Coward woke up. Amber was still asleep but her stupid, hellbeastly mother thought she was dead.
What to do, what to do? Call 911? Hell no. Instead, the hellbitch made her way to her ex-boyfriend’s home and stole his propane torch. She returned to the truck and, with her unconscious daughter inside, she set fire to it.
That’s right, Laura Coward burned her daughter alive.
A hang-up call to 911 on September 2, 2014, led RCMP officers to the burned-out vehicle. There was a handwritten note on the driver’s door that read, “Help me. It was an accident. Locked keys in.”
Laura Coward emerged from her ex-boyfriend’s home, wrapped up in a blanket, just in time to be arrested.
The autopsy on Amber showed that she died of hyperthermia, smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide toxicity.
Laura Coward, that vile creature, was charged with 1st-degree murder. She pled guilty to 2nd-degree murder in February, 2017.
At her sentencing in March, 2017, Laura Coward begged her ex, her family and friends to forgive her.
“I want to say to the father, my family, friends that I’m responsible for my choices and I beg for their forgiveness and I plead for your mercy,” she told the judge.
Court of Queen’s Bench Judge Scott Brooker said that the crime was “the ultimate betrayal”. He added that the murder was vile, random and senseless, and motivated by revenge against Duane Lucius.
Judge Brooker sentenced Laura Coward to life in prison with no possibility of parole for 18 years.
Duane Lucius remembered Amber as the light of his life. The following is his victim impact statement:
DUANE LUCIUS’ VICTIM IMPACT STATEMENT
“Today is another reminder of my devastating loss. Amber was an innocent child and a selfish act ended her life.
“I had only had one year with Amber to renew our bond as father and daughter. During that time Amber was always helping me on the farm and loved playing outside. She was a happy little girl loved by the entire community.
“Since the moment Amber was born, she was the light of my life. She was energetic, talkative and full of joy. I will never get to watch my daughter grow up, but I know she would have done great in life.
“No sentence will do justice for what has happened to Amber. As a father, I have had to bury my child and nothing will bring her back. I can only hope that other children are not being used as bargaining chips in a divorce or used to hurt the other parent. No parent should ever take a child’s life just to get back at the other. We are supposed to provide our children with love, not scare them. Because of this situation she was taken away from me, and all who loved her, far too soon.
“Amber was my life and I will miss her every day until my end. I will never forget her.”
The poor bereaved man addressed the murderer and said that he would never forgive her for the pain she caused.
‘I feel upset (about) how someone could do something like this to a little, innocent girl with a whole life ahead of her,’ Duane Lucius said.
RIP, Amber Grace Lucius. I extend my heartfelt condolences to her family and friends. She deserved a long, happy life, and the world is a lesser place without her in it.
Laura Coward, IMO, doesn’t deserve forgiveness. She committed a horrific crime against someone who loved her dearly out of revenge and anger. Long may she remember the pain and agony and death she inflicted needlessly and selfishly. I hope the memories give her ceaseless pain.