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Thread: Cold case of unidentified man buried in Edmonton still a mystery today

  1. #1

    Default Cold case of unidentified man buried in Edmonton still a mystery today

    A police sketch of the man who collapsed in a Edmonton Safeway, back in 1979, who was never identified before being buried.
    Posted By: Montana CummingJanuary 5, 2016
    EDMONTON, A.B. — The case of an unidentified man who collapsed at an Edmonton Safeway back in 1979, with a key from a now-demolished Dawson Creek hotel, still remains unsolved today.
    As the Edmonton Journal reports, so-called “Mr. X” was dressed in dark green pants, a teal waist-length jacket and a blue peaked cap with a CAT Diesel Power logo when he died of a brain hemorrhage. He had blue eyes and brown-grey hair; he stood 5’11”, weighed 165 lbs., and was missing several teeth. Police believe he is between the age of 45 and 65.
    Mr. X was wearing a modified metal knee brace and had a brown cane. He was carrying two change purses, and held the key to room no. 114 of Windsor Hotel in Dawson Creek. He was buried anonymously in plot 95 of Beechmount cemetery, in Edmonton.
    Sgt. Neil Zurawell is digging for new clues in the case, hoping someone out there might recall something.
    “That one always stood out to me as being more solvable,” Zurawell told the Edmonton Journal. “There are a lot of little tidbits, little hints as to who he was.”
    Police checked shelters, hostels, and taverns to ask if people recognized and could identify him, without much luck. No fingerprint matches were found, nor was he a veteran or did he have a criminal record. No missing people were reported matching his description, either.
    According to the newspaper, more than 50 unidentified people are buried every year in Alberta. While staggering, 2015 seems to have seen numbers lower than other recent years; 56 people were buried unclaimed or unidentified last year, down from 64 in 2014, and 89 and 2013.
    The missing persons unit of the Edmonton Police is currently dealing with five distinct cases, including this one. Three were found in the river: the body of both a man and a woman and leg bones. Another is the body of a woman found dead in a backyard from natural causes. The cases this unit typically handles are not believed to be suspicious.

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  2. #2

    Default Re: Cold case of unidentified man buried in Edmonton still a mystery today

  3. #3

    Default Re: Cold case of unidentified man buried in Edmonton still a mystery today

    Identity of man who died with Windsor Hotel key in his pocket still a mystery

    In 1979, a man died after suffering a brain hemorrhage in an Edmonton Safeway. In his pockets were a coin purse and a key to room 114 at Dawson Creek's Windsor Hotel. He carried no identification.

    Police have been trying to identify the man ever since.

    Members of the Edmonton Police Service's (EPS) Missing Persons Unit are trying to track down anyone who may have known the man, dubbed Mr. X, during his time in Dawson Creek.

    "It's a long shot, but the stage of the game we're at now is all long shots," said Cst. Greg Schmitz. "I'm hoping there's some old-timer in Dawson Creek who may remember that hotel in the 1970s, maybe have a look at the composite (portrait) and say 'yeah, I know that guy.'"

    Police periodically review missing persons files to look for new leads, he said.

    "Files are never closed unless we conclude them. Every year we like to try and review all of our historical missing persons files and unidentified human remains files," he said.

    In January, EPS investigators circulated the story to Edmonton media, but turned up little new information.

    The man appears to have lived a rough life.

    At the time of his death, he walked with a cane and wore a modified brace on his knee.

    Schmitz's theory is the man was a transient construction worker. As for his age, that too is a mystery.

    "He either lived a rough lifestyle for a 45-year-old, or was a healthy 65-year-old," said Schmitz, noting the man was missing several teeth.

    He was wearing a green jacket and dark green pants. He wore a ball cap with the words CAT Diesel Power on it. The coin purse was emblazoned with the name "Josie."

    Information on industries and big employers in the region at the time might help police, Schmitz said.

    "I don't know what kind of industry was going on back then in Dawson Creek, maybe it was highway construction. Based on what he was wearing, he looked like he might be some sort of road crew guy," he said.

    The Windsor Hotel no longer exists, which makes the investigation even more complicated.

    The city demolished the building, which was located at 11th St. and 102nd Ave., in 2002.

    The hotel had a pub that sometimes featured exotic dancers. At some points in its history, it had a ladies' only section which men could not enter unattended.

    The man was ultimately buried unidentified in an Edmonton cemetery. Schmitz said that because police and medical examiners had an intact body—as opposed to cold case victims found decomposed in rivers—the case remains solvable.

    "We're trying to bring some closure for these people," he said.

    Anyone with information is asked to call Edmonton Police at 780.423.4567. The man is identified by his file number: #79160846.

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