Robyn-lain Beauregard poses for a picture in West Kelowna days after he had to “pull the plug” on his 16-year-old son Elijah-lain Beauregard. (David Venn - Capital News)

The life of Eli’s father: How a youth stab-victim ended up on the streets

Beauregard had a transient lifestyle at the same age as his son

Eli was a rambunctious kid. He was quick, crazed and energized. His father taught him how to skateboard at the age of three and by the age of six, he was already dropping into bowls at the skatepark and landing kickflips.

Eli had blonde hair and a smile that seared; it was one of the characteristics his father and others always loved about Eli—he was always smiling.

Like many children, Eli sought freedom and exploration and in the three months before he was fatally stabbed in downtown Kelowna, his youthful aching to wander showed parallels with his father’s.

“His whole life, everybody that has ever known him has said, ‘That’s your little mini-me right there,’” said Robyn-lain Beauregard, 37, father of the late 16 year old.

READ MORE: Downtown Kelowna stabbing victim in critical condition

As a kid growing up in Arthur, Ont.,–a town with under 2,500 residents and a couple dozen streets—Beauregard wanted out. So at around age 15, he left town, dropped out of school and began hitchhiking to nearby cities in Ontario.

In the process, he had become homeless and stayed that way for about a year and a half until he was housed in Toronto around the age of 17.

“I was bored, I was always at home, I wanted freedom.”

He met Eli’s mother-to-be in Toronto while they attended school together. When Beauregard was 18, Eli’s mother became pregnant and Beauregard recovered and transitioned into a father figure for young Eli.

A vagrant of sorts, Beauregard learnt a lot while he was street-ridden. It was something he wished Eli would learn from and not have to go through himself.

READ MORE: Kelowna RCMP identify stabbing suspect

“We would come to Kelowna every now and then and I would tell him that we were just sight-seeing and as we were going, I’d see things that I hoped he would never be involved with,” he said. “And I made sure he knew.”

But his father’s subtle lessons and stories wasn’t enough for Eli. After all, he was Beauregard’s “mini-me.”

Eli moved into his mother’s house in Kelowna just before Christmas in 2018, after an extended trip east-bound from Calgary with his father. However, it served more as reverse transitional housing, landing Eli on the street through self-autonomy rather than latent parenting.

“He started disappearing a little bit more every day, then he started not coming home at night,” Beauregard called.

Both mother and father reached out to Eli and spoke quite often. As Beauregard explained, Eli was free to roam where he pleased. If he wanted to stay with his mother, he could. If he wanted to stay with his father, great. If he wanted to wander, so be it. But he found a sense of home on the street.

READ MORE: RCMP search for missing Kelowna man

“There’s a reason why somebody would choose the street over a perfectly good home,” Beauregard said. “For my son, it was following rules at home, going to school, having to get up every day at a certain time… that just wasn’t my kid. He was never, ever cool with that.”

From the time when Eli first went to school, he was different. Beauregard said he couldn’t make friends or didn’t want to make friends. And when he lived on the street for the three-odd months that preceded his death, he made more friends than he might’ve had throughout his whole childhood.

“That might’ve been the original draw to downtown, was that, ‘I get to go and hang out with my friends that I actually want to hang out with,’” Beauregard said.

READ MORE: Stabbing victim succumbs to injuries in Kelowna hospital

The group of strangers that Eli morphed into his circle reminded Beauregard of the people that helped him through his days on the street as a youth as well. From friends to shelters and food banks, Eli was known and cared for.

“When I was in that lifestyle, I had a lot of people that helped me,” he said. “I learned that there was a lot of people doing that for Eli.”

A child who subconsciously had a knack for rebellion, an anomaly separated from the bulk; for Eli, it was less about being retrogressive but rather of fulfilling a part of his life in which he felt must be, according to his father. He was depicted as a stand-alone figure with blonde hair and a smile that seers.

“He was a handful right from the get-go and that’s just who he was.”

READ MORE: Kelowna man stabbed while searching for ‘stolen’ cellphone


David Venn
Reporter, Kelowna Capital News
Email me at david.venn@kelownacapnews.com
Follow us on Facebook | Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

12-year-old Kelowna resident celebrates birthday with help of community

The community greeted Kate Pauling with ballons, banners and gifts along her paper route on Friday

COVID-19: More infected passengers on planes flying to and from Okanagan and Kamloops airports

The BC Centre of Disease Control has identified numerous flights with COVID-19 cases

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

‘Better days will return’: Queen Elizabeth delivers message amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Queen said crisis reminds her of her first address during World War II in 1940

UPDATE: Coronavirus concerns prompt event cancellations across the Okanagan

This is a running list of events cancelled across the Okanagan

Emergency aid portal opens Monday, cash could be in bank accounts by end of week: Trudeau

Emergency benefit will provide $2,000 a month for those who have lost their income due to COVID-19

Education, not enforcement: B.C. bylaw officers keeping a watch on physical distancing

A kind word, it turns out, has usually been all people need to hear

COVID-19: Hospitals remain safe for childbirth, say Vancouver Island care providers

North Island Hospital has been asked to share its perinatal COVID-19 response plan

Canadian cadets to mark 103rd anniversary of Vimy Ridge April 9 virtually

Idea of Captain Billie Sheridan in Williams Lake, B.C. who wondered what to do in times of COVID-19

Okanagan nordic centre loses out on 2021 nationals

Sovereign Lake near Vernon was to host 2020 Canadian championships, canceled due to COVID-19

COVID-19: North Okanagan spring leagues wiped out

Ladies softball, indoor and beach volleyball leagues shut down over pandemic

Most Read