How long did Kelly Ellard serve in jail? Prison time & current whereabouts explored

Izzy G plays Kelly Ellard in Under the Bridge (Image via @mizzizzyg/ Instagram)
Izzy G plays Kelly Ellard in Under the Bridge (Image via @mizzizzyg/ Instagram)

The whereabouts of Kelly Ellard have been a topic of significant interest, especially after the truth about her crimes came to light as the dramatized true crime miniseries Under the Bridge wrapped up.

Ellard was convicted of murder after horribly beating, and later, killing Reena Virk in 1997 by drowning the latter with the help of fellow teenagers. She was 15 years old when the tragedy happened, with Virk only a year younger than her.

Hulu’s latest TV series aside, the real Kelly Ellard has been in prison for Reena Virk’s murder for nearly two decades since she was sentenced to life in prison in 2005, which she is still serving up to this date.

Virk’s real-life murder story, and Ellard’s hand in it, has been shown in the controversial 8-episode docuseries on Hulu, Under the Bridge, which aired from April 17 to May 29, 2024. The series finale detailed Ellard’s trial and the show’s epilogue, just before the credits rolled, provided real-life facts about the characters in the show, including Kelly Ellard, who was charged with second-degree murder.

What was Kelly Ellard’s sentence?

While the murder of Reena Virk happened in 1997, it was only in 2000 that Ellard went on trial, and by then, she was over 18 and was tried as an adult. She was initially charged with second-degree murder, although the British Columbia Court of Appeals overturned the conviction in 2003.

The following year, Ellard had a second trial for Virk’s murder, but the jurors were unable to reach a verdict, leading to a mistrial.

Kelly Ellard was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2005

Kelly Ellard, who now goes by the name Kerry Marie Sim, had her third trial in 2005 and was sentenced to life in prison without a chance of parole for the next seven years, effectively putting her behind bars.

Three trials later, Ellard has maintained her claim of innocence for the brutal killing of Reena Virk and only admitted “some” responsibility for Virk’s death in 2016 for the first time. When Ellard, 33 at the time, was asked if she was responsible for Virk’s death, she told the board:

“I believe I am.”

However, that was not enough to sway the parole board to give her leave privileges as she was still “minimizing many aspects of the offense,” as reported by CBC News. Ellard would have to wait a full year to reapply to the board for day parole.

During this period, the convicted teen killer had fallen pregnant following a conjugal visit with her boyfriend, who was reportedly also in prison.

She was granted day parole in 2017

In another appeal to the board, Kelly Ellard was finally granted escorted temporary absences from prison. As per CBC News, her parole was contingent on Ellard not consuming alcohol or drugs, contacting any of Reena Virk’s family members, or associating with anyone involved in substance abuse or criminal activity.

However, her first granted day parole was later suspended in August of the year because Ellard was experiencing anxiety, domestic violence, and drug use. The suspension was lifted by October with additional conditions imposed, including disclosing all sexual and non-sexual relationships.

Where is Kelly Ellard today?

Kelly Ellard is now 41, soon turning 42, with two children of her own, and had spent over two decades behind bars.

As mentioned, she now goes by the name Kerry Marie Sim or Kerry Sim and is still in jail for the murder of Reena Virk—about 19 years since she was convicted in 2005. That said, she’s been on extended day parole and is currently living in a community-based residential family in the Lower Mainland, according to the parole documents obtained by CBC News.

Her current day parole comes with three conditions: she may not drink, use drugs, or contact any of the Virk family.

Read more: Did Reena Virk get justice in Under the Bridge?

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