Parents never gave up on son charged with their murders: Uncle

Jeremy Gubbels.

Jeremy Gubbels.

Jennifer Bieman, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:41 PM ET

LONDON, Ont. ─ Just two weeks ago, Jeremy Gubbels was hanging out with relatives at a family reunion in London, Ont.

Now, the 26-year-old is charged with killing his parents in a double homicide that ended with police finding his mother dead in their rural home in Lambton County and his father's body in a vehicle parked in a London parking lot.

Members of the extended Gubbels family are left searching for answers.

They're trying to reconcile the fresh memories of Jeremy Gubbels posing for photos with relatives in the sunshine at the reunion on the first weekend in July with the charges he now faces.

"Jeremy was a challenged kid ─ he has had mental problems and issues for a while," Pat Gubbels said Tuesday about his nephew.

Jeremy Gubbels is accused of killing his mother Susan Gubbels, 55, and his father Mario Gubbels, 54. He's scheduled to appear by video in a Sarnia court Wednesday.

Pat Gubbels said his nephew faced challenges from a young age.

"He had difficulties growing up. He wasn't as socially accepted as well as maybe some other kids."

Jeremy Gubbels was living in a quiet north London townhouse complex before he was arrested Sunday night.

Pat Gubbels said his nephew had been in and out of custody as an adult and received treatment for mental illness. He lived for a while in a London halfway house.

Despite his brushes with the law, his parents never gave up on him, his uncle said.

"It's something that they handled with the support of the rest of the family. We all understood."

Mario Gubbels worked in a Strathroy factory and had recently worked for a local farmer. Susan Gubbels was a well-known Bank of Montreal employee in Strathroy and Watford.

They had two children: Jeremy and his sister Amanda.

Their love for their son was severely tested three years ago when he trashed their home while they were away.

Jeremy Gubbels punched 20 to 30 holes in the walls, shattered glass and ripped out a toilet.

The judge at his trial said the damage estimated at $100,000 was the worst she had seen in her time on the bench.

She said the case highlighted the horrible toll drug abuse can take.

The judge noted Gubbels' parents continued to support him and didn't want him charged.

He was sentenced to seven months in jail for ransacking the home and assaulting two Sarnia jail guards.

And though Pat Gubbels is deeply saddened and disturbed by the deaths of his brother and sister-in-law, he said he realizes his nephew will need help and support.

"My brother (Mario) explained to me once how he would never give up on his son, so I don't think I can give up on him. I'm going to try and help him, too.

And Pat Gubbels said he's sure one thing.

"Mario and Sue died loving their son. They never gave up on him."

jennifer.bieman@sunmedia.ca

Twitter: @BiemanatLFPress


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