Mystery 911 call released in hit-and-run case

Edmonton police released audio Friday of the mystery 911 call that led them to a fatally injured man in hopes of cracking a case that has stumped them so far.
Edmonton police Sgt. Brad Manz made a public plea Friday asking anyone with information about three fatal hit and runs to come forward to police. (CBC)
Edmonton police released audio Friday of the mystery 911 call that led them to a fatally injured man in hopes of cracking a case that has stumped them so far.

The call was made at 4:30 a.m. on Sept. 4 from a pay phone at Jasper Avenue and 95th Street.

"Yes I just walked by 10955 84th Street and there's a guy laying on the damn grass there and I didn't notice him breathing," the man tells the 911 dispatcher. He hung up before giving his name or any contact information.

Shortly afterward, police found 25-year-old Manoli Rurak injured in front of an apartment building at that address. Rurak was taken to hospital, where he later died. Police believe he was struck by a vehicle, based on the injuries he sustained.

In the days following Rurak's death, police made a plea for the caller to come forward. They released the 911 call in the hope it will generate a break in the case.

"We are releasing some of that conversation in hopes that someone may recognize the voice and assist us in locating them," said Edmonton police Sgt. Brad Manz. "This caller is likely to have critical information for this particular incident."

Rurak was one of three pedestrians killed in what police call a "very unusual" string of fatal hit and runs in Edmonton in the last month. Police are appealing to anyone who knows something about any of the incidents to contact them.

"It's very, very likely that someone has spoken to someone else. Someone has heard something from someone else," Manz said. "Let's not forget that three people have lost their lives here."

On Aug. 27, a 34-year-old man was killed when a car backed into him in a parking lot adjacent to the Courtyard Marriott hotel at Jasper and 99th Street after he reportedly had a confrontation with the people inside the vehicle.

"The victim in this incident began to strike that particular vehicle with his hands and feet, causing the driver to back up from a parked position and while the vehicle was being backed, he struck the male and knocked him to the ground," Manz said.

Police believe the car was a black Cadillac Catera and was driven by a man. Witnesses told them a female passenger in the car got out either at 100th Street and Jasper Avenue or on Grierson Hill.

Police have some leads in the incident, but are asking anyone who saw the woman getting out of the car to contact them.

In the third incident, a woman in her 50s was struck and killed in Edmonton's west end around 10 p.m. on Sept. 7.

The woman was initially struck by a northbound truck that was driving through a green light at the intersection of 149th Street and 110th Avenue just as she was starting to cross the street.

The impact threw her into another lane of traffic. As the truck braked, the car driving behind it switched lanes and struck the woman, dragging her several metres.

The car continued north, stopped briefly and then drove away, police said. Police believe the car was a silver or light-coloured Chevrolet Cavalier or Pontiac Sunfire.