Donald Hebb, father of murdered Mathew Hebb, waits for answers

A father of a homicide victim says he's trying not to get his hopes up as RCMP divers search water near where his son's body was found in 2012.

'People say time heals, but I can assure you it does not,' Hebb says as RCMP divers search at crime scene

Matthew Hebb hugs his mother Kirtley Beaver. (Courtesy of Kirtley Beaver)

When Donald Hebb comes home from work, he sees two photographs sitting on his coffee table. 

His six-year-old grandson Marshall sits smiling back at him in the frame. Next to him is Matthew, Marshall's father and Donald's son. 

Matthew's body was found three years ago in a burnt-out camp near Sheet Harbour. The 22-year-old man had been in the woods with his friend, 59-year-old Earle Stewart, looking for Christmas trees.

Police say someone killed them, but the crimes remain unsolved. 

"It's been hard for the last three years," Donald said. "People say time heals, but I can assure you, it does not. Not when something like this happens because you're still trying to wrap your head around it and make sense of it."

RCMP divers are searching water near Sheet Harbour, and near the site of that burned out camp. In a case where no charges have been laid, they say they're looking for evidence. 

Hebb called a detective for an update, but learned little. 

"He told me not to get my hopes up, which I'm not, because I know sometimes it could just be a false lead," Hebb said. "It's good to know it's not a cold case, that they're still investigating this, that it hasn't gone on a shelf."

Father heard the fire call

Hebb says he has a lot of questions no one can answer: why his son went to that camp and how someone would kill the friends and burn the bodies.

Donald Hebb holds then-toddler Matthew during a visit with Santa Claus. (Submitted by Donald Hebb)

Hebb is a firefighter, but works at a station away from Sheet Harbour. He was at work when the call came in about the fire. He listened as officers called for investigators. He thought nothing of it. 

"I didn't hear anything until the next morning that they found two people in the building, in the burnt-out camp," Hebb said.

But in the morning, his captain said his son's name in connection to the case. 

"That's how I found out," Hebb said. "I was losing my mind. Soon as I heard the name, I knew. I knew exactly where he was then. I knew that was him." 

'Eerie feeling' to visit crime scene

Hebb has visited the camp. He says the fire investigators were clearly careful in their work collecting evidence. He can almost picture the crime scene from the leftover rubble.

"It's just an eerie feeling. I'm in the spot where my son died, and it wasn't from natural causes," Hebb said. "It was because someone else took his life. It's hard to wrap your head around it."

Police are accepting anonymous tips through Crime Stoppers. Hebb says he believes someone heard something. He hopes that person calls. 

"Every day is hard and it doesn't matter if it's Christmas or summer or spring," Hebb said. "It's not easy, not easy at all."


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