Manitoba

'Justice for my brother': Family wants answers about August death near Russell, Man.

The family of Matthew Swain — who was found injured on Highway 16 near Russell, Man., and later died as a result of the injuries — wants answers about his death.

Matthew Swain died in hospital on Aug. 14 after RCMP were called about assault on Highway 16 near town airport

Matthew Swain, 40, was found injured on Highway 16 near Russell, Man., and later died as a result of the injuries. RCMP confirmed they are investigating his death as a homicide. (CBC)

A family from Gambler First Nation is demanding answers about the death of Matthew Swain, a 40-year-old man who was found injured on a Manitoba highway in August.

Four months later, his oldest sister says the family still has no answers about how or why he died.

"I'm in the dark just like everybody else," said Georgina Swain, who goes by Gina.

All Gina and her two siblings know is that their brother was found after RCMP were called about an assault on Aug. 14 near the Russell airport.

She said they fear he was beaten to death.

"Every time we phone [RCMP] to ask, they say there's nothing new."

Gina said police told her it could take nine months before the family finds out what happened.

On Monday, a police spokesperson confirmed Matthew's death is being investigated as a homicide.

"This remains an active homicide investigation ,which means I cannot provide any further details on what took place," RCMP said in an emailed statement.

Honoured by candlelight

The Swain family held a candlelight vigil in memory of Matthew on Saturday night at the site where he was found near the airport in Russell, which is just over 300 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg.

Matthew was honoured by his siblings, parents, other family and friends from the Gambler First Nation, including Chief David LeDoux.

Matthew Swain's friends and family held a candlelight vigil in his honour on Saturday. (Submitted by family)

Gina said her brother died on their mother's 73rd birthday.

Matthew leaves behind a four-year-old daughter, who Gina said he taught about the stars, planets and solar systems.

"She thinks of her dad all the time," Gina says about her niece.

He was a smart, well-educated man who often demonstrated empathy, according to Gina.

"He would give you the shirt off his back," she said. "He had a lot to live for."

Matthew would have celebrated his 41st birthday on Dec. 19, Gina said.

At the candlelight vigil on Saturday, a group held a pipe and drum ceremony, and sang songs to "let his spirit go so he could be at peace," Gina said.

"I miss my baby brother," she said.

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