Still looking for answers

The family of a 20-year-old man who was found dead in a Fernie alleyway two years ago is still looking for answers.

  • Mar. 26, 2012 4:00 p.m.

The family of a 20-year-old man who was found dead in a Fernie alleyway two years ago is still looking for answers.

Rhys Coppens was found unconscious in the alleyway next to The Northern in Fernie at 2:25 a.m. March 21, 2010.

He was visiting Fernie on a snowboarding trip with his older brother, Jacques, and his best friend.

“We are not looking for vengeance,” said Rhys’s sister Elise Coppens. “We just need to know what happened to him.”

The RCMP said Rhys was taken by ambulance to the Elk Valley Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The RCMP carried out extensive interviews with people that had been in the bar that night, but were never able to find out what had happened to Rhys in the final minutes of his life. Foul play was never suspected. In the end the file was closed.

“At this point we don’t suspect foul play therefore this has become solely a Coroner’s investigation at this point,” said Sgt. Dave Dubnyk of the Elk Valley RCMP. “In saying that, we would always encourage people to come forward if they have information they think we may not already have.”

Dubnyk said that, although there was some alcohol in Rhys’s blood, they do not believe this played a part in his death.

The coroner told the family Rhys died of positional asphyxia, basically suffocation, as the result of the way he ended up lying on the ground.

The medical examiner confirmed his injuries weren’t consistent with falling off a roof or being involved in a fight, Elise told The Free Press. No illegal or legal drugs were found in his blood either.

“We just want to know how he ended up lying where he was,” said Elise. “We are so grateful to the RCMP for all their efforts and working so tirelessly on the case. We just need closure. We want to know what happened to Rhys.”

Rhys was known for his athletic ability. He had played one season with the University of Alberta Golden Bears football team and had recently signed a letter of intent to play for the University of Calgary Dinos.

He also excelled at hockey and soccer, having travelled to England twice to play with the Vimy Ridge soccer academy.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Elk Valley RCMP at 250-425-6233 or Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

 

Just Posted

Drag queens receive royal treatment during Elk Valley Pride

Vancouver drag queens discuss the importance of Pride and growing acceptance of LGBTQ community

LIVE BLOG: Official election results for City of Fernie

Follow this post for comprehensive coverage of the 2018 Municipal Election

LIVE BLOG: Full election results for District of Sparwood

Follow this post for comprehensive coverage of the 2018 Municipal Election

LIVE BLOG: Full election results for District of Elkford

Follow this post for comprehensive coverage of the 2018 Municipal Election

Big turnout to advance polls

On Saturday, general voting will be open to qualified electors from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

Elk Valley shows it’s got Pride

Second annual Elk Valley Pride Festival a huge success

B.C. VIEWS: Residents have had enough of catering to squatters

Media myth of homeless victims offends those who know better

B.C. Liberals’ hopes high as Nanaimo by-election approaches

Historically safe NDP seat vacated by long-time MLA Leonard Krog

Leaving B.C.’s electoral reform to a referendum is ‘ridiculous’: professor

B.C. voters getting ballots in the mail on proposal to change electoral system

Canada condemns killing of journalist in Saudi Arabia consulate in Turkey

The Saudi government claimed Jamal Khashoggi was killed in a ‘fistfight’

One year to election: Trudeau Liberals gear up for tussles on climate, premiers

Analysts say that the Liberals have reason to be ‘fairly confident’

GUEST COLUMN: B.C.’s proportional representation vote is dishonest, misleading

Veteran of 2005 Citizens’ Assembly urges rejection of new voting systems

Prank pizzas delivered to B.C. mayor on election night

The fake orders happened throughout Victoria mayor’s re-election campaign

Most Read