Double-homicide witness upset with wait for counselling
Michael Kalmakoff discovered bodies in Wolseley rooming house on Sept. 4
A Winnipeg man who stumbled across a double-homicide scene in a Wolseley rooming house two weeks ago says he's still waiting for the provincial government to assign a counsellor to help him cope.
Michael Kalmakoff discovered the bodies of Trevor James Sinclair, 31, and Unice Ophelia Crow, 19, inside their suite in a Chestnut Street rooming house on Sept. 4.
"Sometimes when I close my eyes, that's what I see. It's the first thing I see, and it's all red," he told CBC News on Wednesday.
"Sometimes I can go to bed [and] I can go to sleep, but I wake up quite frequently."
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Kalmakoff, who lives in the same rooming house, said the two had moved in several months earlier and were kind and helpful people.
Police are treating the couple's death as a homicide.
Weeks after the grisly discovery, Kalmakoff said he can't sleep for more than an hour or two each night.
"I'm just shaking, just thinking about it," he said.
Kalmakoff said he cannot afford to pay for a counsello so he applied for counselling with Manitoba Justice's victim services program.
But Kalmakoff said he was told it would take another three weeks before a decision is made on his application — a waiting period he said is too long.
"What I saw, it's something [that] should be dealt with ASAP," he said. "The counselling should have started just as soon as possible afterwards."
The provincial government told CBC News it cannot comment specifically on Kalmakoff's file, but said officials generally process counselling requests within a week, especially for files involving fatalities.
A government spokesperson could not say how long it takes for eligible clients to actually meet with a counsellor, as that wait time would vary depending on the therapist or agency.
Witnesses of crime are eligible for counselling, travel and accommodations for the purposes of attending counselling, crime scene cleanup, and the repair or replacement of clothing damaged during the incident, according to the province.
The province said it does not have statistics on how many people annually access counselling through victim services, but noted that counselling is the most commonly requested service.
With files from CBC's Katie Nicholson