Three “suspicious” deaths in Nunavut community of Kimmirut: RCMP
Man, 27, woman, 23, and boy, 27 months, found dead
(Updated March 31, 6:00 p.m.)
The RCMP’s major crime squads and forensic identification units are investigating the sudden and suspicious deaths of three people in Kimmirut.
Residents of Kimmirut have told Nunatsiaq News that the three dead people are members of the same family: a man, a woman and their three-year-old son.
Police have since said that the man was 27 years old, the woman was 23 year old and their child was 27 months old.
A March 30 news release from the RCMP said police deem the deaths “suspicious,” but the RCMP did not elaborate on the circumstances surrounding the deaths or provide any details about the deceased persons until the next day.
The RCMP said only that at 11 a.m. on March 30, members of the RCMP detachment in Kimmirut started an investigation into the deaths of the three people.
The RCMP said details of the investigation were still developing and that the Nunavut coroner had been notified.
Police also said “there is not an ongoing risk to the citizens of Kimmirut.”
But everyone in the community is devastated, say people in Kimmirut, which has a population of about 425, mainly under the age of 25.
Grown men in Kimmirut were breaking down with grief March 30 when they talked about the deaths, said a woman from Kimmirut who spoke to Nunatsiaq News early on Easter morning.
She choked up while speaking about the deaths because she couldn’t help thinking about the cheerful little boy she knew who would not be enjoying any Easter treats on March 31.
The man, a hard-working employee of the local co-operative association, appeared to be devoted to his son, who was always well-dressed and lively, she said.
Intoxication and the use of firearms have not been officially linked to the deaths.
But people in Kimmirut who agreed to speak to Nunatsiaq News, but did not want to be named, attribute the Easter weekend tragedy to an influx of alcohol into the community and the presence of firearms in every household, which are “as common as brooms.”
“When is someday going to wake up and do something?” was the question posed by a resident.
Kimmirut, located about 120 kilometres from Iqaluit, had just come out of a turbulent 2012, marked by two violent firearms incidents: in March, a man fired multiple rounds at two RCMP staff houses, while in July an intoxicated man fired multiple rounds at the community’s RCMP detachment.
The two incidents evoked painful memories of the 2007 killing of 20-year-old RCMP Cst. Douglas Scott in Kimmirut.
Last August, the RCMP asked to see a new safety committee set up in Kimmirut to help stem the violent firearms incidents against police in that community.
The proposed safety committee would include the RCMP detachment commander, the mayor and a hamlet councillor, who would talk about issues such as firearms safety and alcohol education in Kimmirut, which decided to end its “dry” status in 2012.
(more to come)