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Friends and family help woman after her father's death

Jan 29 2012

The strength and comfort of family is helping Jennifer Amos after the violent death of her father, Merve Hankins.

"My family and friends are my medicine," she said last week. "I miss him every day."

It has been two weeks since her 75-year-old father was killed in his home on Fourth Avenue in Port Alberni. Police have not said how Hankins died, but his family says he was killed in a robbery.

Amos, 31, said she and her father had a close relationship, and she talked to him every day. It was because of that daily contact that she knew something was wrong on Jan. 13 when her father did not answer her calls.

"I still want to call him six times a day," she said. "We knew something was wrong. We even called the hospital."

When their worry got the best of them, Amos's boyfriend, Dale Douglas, went to the home to check on Hankins. He discovered Hankins's body and called the RCMP.

Douglas was "horrified" that someone would kill a man like Hankins.

"He was a hard-working, honest, kind and loyal man, who believed in the strength of family," he said. Amos said her father would do anything for his friends, family and even strangers.

Douglas said rumours that drugs were involved are completely untrue.

Amos said her father might have lived in Port Alberni's poorest neighbourhood, but he did everything he could to make it better for his neighbours.

"He did his best to give everyone a chance," she said.

Amos was young when her mother died, but she is using the lessons her father taught her then to deal with how she feels now. She said he would not want her to live in anger and sadness.

"My father taught me not to be angry and jealous that she [her mother] was gone," she said. "I'll do the same now: dust myself off."

Amos's uncle, Eugene Amos, said it meant a lot to the family that the RCMP are taking such a close interest in the case and two other similar violent assaults and home invasions in the area recently.

Hankins did not judge others and he deserved the same respect, Eugene said.

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