Beating death baffles family, police

“He never had problems with people. And people never had problems with him”



Last time Noodloo Korgak saw her brother alive, he was happier than she’d ever seen him.

It was no family secret that Pee Korgak lived a hardscrabble life in Iqaluit, scrounging for work, and prone to drinking aerosol cleaners and hairspray to get high with homeless friends.

But after nightfall on Jan. 9, the 40-year-old man came bounding up his younger sister’s stairs, beaming with optimism.

Instead of making his usual gruff request for leftover bannock and tea, Korgak smiled and told his sister that he hadn’t touched alcohol for three weeks. And he had a cheque from one of his odd jobs painting and cleaning around town.

He said he’d be back in a few minutes with some cigarettes.

Before leaving, he told Noodloo he loved all his sisters, and his son Peter, whom he gave up for adoption almost 10 years earlier.

“I never saw him that happy before,” Noodloo said, sitting at her kitchen table, with a portrait of her brother propped up behind her.

“He was saying ‘I love all my sisters.’ He was saying ‘I love my irniq [son], he’s going to grow up to be a very hard-working man.’ Then he went to Arctic Ventures to cash a cheque. But he never came back. I never saw him again.”

Instead of enjoying some cigarettes with her brother, Noodloo waited in vain, then went to bed, leaving the door unlocked so he could come in later.

A week later, police announced they were investigating an assault on an Iqaluit man, who was beaten into a coma in his apartment, and later died while under medical care in Ottawa.

A month later, Pee’s sister Noodloo, family and friends are left with a mystery. None of them knows who killed Pee, or why.

Kevin MacCormack, an Iqaluit business consultant who’d been hiring Pee for boat-painting projects over the years, said he was shocked by news of the fatal beating.

“He never had problems with people,” MacCormack said. “And people never had problems with him.”

Rather, family and friends described Pee as a likable, mild-mannered gentleman. He was known to smile, wave and say hello to people in the streets, whether they were strangers, or long-time neighbours. Pee also helped friends who, unlike him, didn’t have a home to call their own.

According to MacCormack, before Pee died, his friends treated his threadbare bachelor apartment, number 305C, as a virtual drop-in centre.

But besides giving friends a place to sleep, MacCormack said Pee also stuck out because he gave employers a reason to trust him.

“He would paint a house from top to bottom,” MacCormack recalled. “He was very dependable that way, because he did a good job.”

Even with the odd jobs, Pee needed help. His sister Noodloo said he had “absolutely nothing” of his own, and visited her regularly in search of food.

Asked what she would miss most about her brother, Noodloo began crying.

“After the incident, we were hardly eating,” she said. “There were lots of leftovers Pee would have finished.

“I miss him already … him coming in.”

RCMP declined to comment on details surrounding the case. However, Const. Chris Coles said autopsy results could take as long as a few months to arrive from Ottawa.

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