Victim's family shocked after Winnipeg rooming house homicides
The brother of one of two people found dead in a Wolseley rooming house Wednesday says his family is reeling after hearing what happened.
Blackwolf Hart Bellecourt is Trevor James Sinclair's brother. The bodies of 31-year-old Sinclair and 19-year-old Unice Ophelia Crow were discovered by a man who lives in the same house on Chestnut Street. Police later announced the two deaths were part of a homicide investigation.
Bellecourt says the news came as a schock to his family.
"We're pretty devastated, I guess the not-knowing what happened to Trevor," Bellecourt told CBC News. "We are all just trying to breathe in our own way, just trying to heal."
Sinclair's family said he was the father of two boys, ages 6 and 8, and that the traditional Aboriginal man was very spiritual, as a sundancer, pipe carrier, drum maker and singer.
Bellecourt said Sinclair was a hardworking man who was never involved in gangs, and that Crow was very important to him.
"I know he loved her, he loved her with all his heart. If anyone was hurting this woman, I know that Trevor would never run away, he would never leave her side," Bellecourt said.
Neighbour discovers bodies
Michael Kalmakoff, who lives in the same house on Chestnut Street, says the two were helpful and kind.
Kalmakoff said the couple had moved into the building three months ago.
He says he thought of the two as "kids." He said it was "nice to have them around," because his own children are grown.
He said they were kind to him and his wife, often buying them bottles of water at the corner store.
Kalmakoff became worried this week when he didn't see or hear from the couple for days. He said he hasn't been able to sleep since discovering their bodies.
Winnipeg police said Friday that witnesses have reported "suspicious activity" at the couple's suite between Thursday, August 29 and Friday, August 30.
Const. Jason Michalyshen also confirmed that the couple "sustained multiple injuries as a result of what is believed to be a violent attack." Police sources told CBC the bodies had been in the suite for roughly six days and were in an advanced state of decomposition.
Michalyshen said the matter is being investigated as a double-homicide, and that a homicide-suicide scenario has now been ruled out. He said even though police have responded to incidents at the residence in the past, there is no indication the couple was involved in either drugs or gangs.
"Let's not paint everybody with the same brush," he said. "I can tell you right now, the couple, the deceased, to our knowledge, were not involved in any drug activity, [and] were not involved in any gang activity."
Michalyshen said police have been in contact with family members of both victims.
"Two young people have lost their lives and we want to do everything in our power to identify who is responsible, support the family and provide closure."
He said the homicide and forensic identification units are still investigating, and they are asking anyone with information to call them at 204-986-6508 or CrimeStoppers at 204-786-TIPS (8477).