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

RDEK takes steps towards reducing carcass pit use

The first step towards addressing the issue of carcass pits in the… Continue reading

Ghostriders head coach Jeff Wagner commits to another two years

Fernie Ghostriders head coach Jeff Wagner has committed to another two years… Continue reading

Fernie affordable housing project starting to take shape

Fernie Family Housing Society reveals project design; aims to start construction in September

Stranded men rescued by snowmobilers near Sparwood

Sparwood Search and Rescue praise quick action with forecast calling for below -20C overnight

Biologists discover another female calf in depleted South Purcell Mountain Caribou herd

Calf will be moved to Revelstoke maternity pens, then released

VIDEO: Canada’s flag turns 54 today

The maple leaf design by George Stanley made its first appearance Feb. 15, 1965

Local skier bound for Canada Winter Games

A total of 251 athletes from around B.C. will represent the province… Continue reading

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Plecas won’t run in next election if B.C. legislature oversight reforms pass

B.C. Speaker and Abbotsford South MLA says he feels ‘great sympathy’ for Jody Wilson-Raybould

Workshop with ‘accent reduction’ training cancelled at UBC

The workshop was cancelled the same day as an email was sent out to international students

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

Avalanche control planned tomorrow on Highway 1

The highway will be closed in the morning east of Revelstoke

Judge rules Abbotsford home must be sold after son tries to evict mom

Mom to get back down payment and initial expenses

Trump officially declares national emergency to build border wall

President plans to siphon billions from federal military construction and counterdrug efforts

Most Read