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Bail granted in “barrel body” murder case

chad_davis_2Several media sources in Canada are reporting that one of two suspects in the grizly “barrel body” murder case was allowed to post bail today.

The Winnipeg Sun reports that Cory Tymchyshyn was released on “strict house arrest” and that Justice Brenda Keyser’s reasons for releasing the suspect are protected by a “publication ban.”

22-year-old Chad Davis went missing in February of 2008.  His body was discovered on July 23 inside a barrel that had been floating in the Lee River.  One day later, Beyond90Seconds.com interviewed 69-year-old George Knight, one of two men who’d pulled the barrel from the river.

According to a story published on the Web this morning by the Winnipeg Free Press:

Nattily dressed in a pin-striped suit for court, Tymchyshyn was led out of the courtroom in handcuffs by sheriffs. He’ll likely be released from custody later today.

Tymchyshyn and co-defendant Kristopher Brincheski, 26, were arrested in September, shortly after police searched a small Manitoba home.

News of the arrests broke shortly after Beyond90Seconds.com passed along a tip concerning a “Cory Temptation” to police in Canada.  Whether that tip was, in any way, significant to the investigation is not known.

Both suspects are charged with first-degree murder. The Winnepeg Free Press reports that Bricheski, who remains in custody, has a special hearing scheduled for next week.

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Arrests made in barrel body case

UPDATE: (September 13, 12:43am PST)  The Winnipeg Sun has just published a second article Online concerning the arrests in the Chad Davis case.  The article is dated Saturday, September 13 and includes elements that mesh with tips from a Beyond90Seconds.com source.  The tipster’s information–to include information about drugs and a taxi ride–was published in the September 12 Beyond90Seconds.com article below.  It is also worth mentioning here that the September 13 Winnipeg Sun report states that additional arrests are possible.

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CHARGES COME SHORTLY AFTER TIP FROM BEYOND90SECONDS.COM

(This post includes opinion and commentary)

(September 12) Two men are now in custody and charged with murdering a young man whose body was found stuffed inside a barrel pulled from Manitoba’s Lee River in July.

According to a story published today on the Winnipeg Sun’s Web site, “Corey Tymchyshyn, 31, and Kristopher Brincheski, 26, of Winnipeg are in custody” and charged with first-degree murder in the death of Chad Davis (see archives for previous posts on this case).

Davis’s body was found on July 23 after two neighbors pulled the barrel from the Lee River.

On July 26, Beyond90Seconds.com received information from a source that a “Corey Temptation” might have been the person who killed Davis.

“Temptation” might sound similar to “Tymchyshyn”.

The tone of the information Beyond90Seconds.com received from the source suggested it was second-hand knowledge; the proverbial “word on the street.”

A precursory Internet search for information on a Corey Temptation turned-up very little information.  The name only appeared on a few Web sites that appeared to concern video gaming.

In addition to the name Corey Temptation, the source had also provided Beyond90Seconds.com with information related to a possible motive for the murder.

Again, we’ll call it “word on the street.”  And it may be all wrong.

The source claimed to have heard that “Temptation” had allegedly owed Davis a large sum of money; perhaps as much as $30 thousand.  Temptation allegedly contacted Davis in February to arrange a meeting so that Temptation could pay-off the debt and purchase “more drugs.”

Davis, according to what the source had allegedly heard, decided to meet Temptation.

The source said he had heard that Davis had been staying at a hotel when he left to meet Temptation. Davis allegedly took a taxi from the hotel and left several items behind in his hotel room, to include his cell phone and wallet.

The source said he had heard claims that Davis had recently been granted bail regarding cocaine trafficking charges (this is unconfirmed).  For this reason–the source claimed–some people felt police weren’t taking Davis’s disappearance very seriously.  Others, according to the source, felt Davis had simply left town.

Again, all of the information provided by the source had “the word on the street” tone.  It did not appear to come from someone with first-hand knowledge.

On September 7, the Winnipeg Free Press reported that police had recently searched a home regarding a “homicide investigation.”  The paper suggested a possible, but unconfirmed, connection to the Davis murder.  The paper also mentioned that there were many other unsolved murders in the general area.

The September 7 newspaper report had also stated that a woman in her mid-20s lived in the home with her boyfriend.  I wondered if the boyfriend might be named “Corey Temptation”.

The Winnipeg Free Press’s article concluded with the following appeal:

Anyone with information about Davis’ death is asked to call (204) 984-6447 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

It was an interesting story.  No confirmation from police that the home search was connected to the Davis case.  Yet–despite having reported that there were several unsolved murders in the area–the story concluded with that appeal specifically aimed at assisting the Davis investigation

20 years in TV news has taught me that police and reporters can, in fact, team-up to keep a story alive in the pursuit of new leads for the investigators and, perhaps, a future scoop for the reporter.

And lacking a tangible thread between that home search and Chad Davis’s murder, I had to wonder if that Free Press story was born from such an arrangement.

Putting aside the speculation for the story’s impetus, I felt compelled to call the tip line.  I got voice mail and left a careful message without any mention of my source’s name or contact information.

On September 10, I received a call from Constable Brad Parker of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Homicide Unit.  Constable Parker explained that he was simply following-up on the tip I had provided.  His tone was friendly and low-key.

Not one for burning sources, I would not provide my source’s name or e-mail address.  Constable Parker asked if I would inform the source that police would like to speak with him.  I agreed to do so.

Constable Parker also asked that I fax him the text of that July 26 e-mail the source had sent me, adding that I could leave out the source’s name and e-mail address.  The Constable politely urged me to send it that day.

Minutes after that phone call from Canada, I e-mailed the source and provided him with the constable’s name and phone number.  I shared what I had told police and that I’d been careful not to reveal his identity.

I also wrote that I had decided not to send the text of the source’s e-mail without the source’s permission.

Because I hadn’t received a reply from the source, I never faxed anything to police on September 10.

I had received no communication from the source on September 11, either.  But, I still felt compelled to provide information that might help police catch a killer.

At 2:37pm (PST) on September 11, I sent a three page fax (including cover letter) to Constable Parker.  Rather than provide police with the exact text of the source’s July 26 e-mail, I broke it down into bullet points.

My reluctance for sending the entirety of the source’s text was that it might reveal the writing style of a person already known to investigators.

After sending the fax to Constable Parker on September 11, I called him to confirm that he had received it.  I left a voice mail message requesting that he call me or e-mail me in order to confirm that he had received the fax.

The confirmation came one day later (today) at 12:20pm (PST).  Constable Parker reached me by phone and said that the fax had been received.  I wrapped-up the brief conversation with the familiar request from a reporter, “Could you please give me a heads-up if any arrests are made?”

Constable Parker said he could not do so, but agreed to pass along my request to the primary detectives on the Davis case.

50-minutes after hanging up the phone with Constable Parker I received a Google Alert with a link to today’s article on the Winnipeg Sun’s Web site:

No problem.  Either Constable Parker didn’t know about the arrests when he spoke with me less than an hour earlier or he’s very good about “protecting the integrity of an ongoing investigation” (some might add, protecting his job!).

Regardless, what’s important here is that the wheels of justice in a murder investigation move forward.  And that a source remain protected.

I strongly suspect investigators were already well down the road to executing their arrests prior to my tip.  The information provided by Beyond90Seconds.com may have meant nothing or it might simply have been icing on the cake for the Davis investigation.

With two suspects now in custody,  I will share with you, the reader, the two page letter that I had faxed to Constable Parker just yesterday.  I had marked it confidential, but now feel comfortable posting it here as two suspects are in custody.

First, this final thought:  As I mentioned in my September 7 post concerning this case, evidence seized in that recent home search (where we now know Corey Tymchyshyn lived) included a refrigerator.

Davis disappeared in February.

Yet, the man who first saw the body stuffed inside the barrel five months later told Beyond90Seconds.com, “I know an ass when I see one.”

Now, here’s the September 11 letter that I faxed to the RCMP.

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Home searched near Barrel Body case

POLICE WON’T SAY IF SEARCH IS LINKED TO CHAD DAVIS INVESTIGATION

(September 7)    Police had their guns drawn as they entered a small home in Manitoba around 5pm Thursday night.  According to an article in this morning’s Winnipeg Free Press, investigators will only say the search is linked to “a homicide”, but investigators aren’t saying anything more specific.

The Winnipeg Free Press addresses a possible connection to the murder of Chad Davis with this sentence:

There have been a number of killings in rural Manitoba this year that remain unsolved, including the gruesome discovery of the decomposed body of Chad Davis, 22, of Winnipeg inside a barrel on the Lee River just east of Lac du Bonnet.

Neighbors told the Winnipeg Free Press that a woman in her mid-20s lives with her boyfriend at the home searched Thursday.

What caught this reporter’s eye was the newspaper’s mention of the items seized by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.  It included a refrigerator.

Davis disappeared in February. Yet, when 69-year-old George Knight helped pull the mysterious barrel from the river July 23, he looked inside and instantly recognized a human body.

“I know an ass when I see one,” Knight told Beyond90Seconds.com in a July 24 (listen to the interview on Beyond90Seconds.com Radio).

Stay tuned…

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Breaking News: Barrel body identified as missing 22-year-old Winnipeg man

AUDIO

(July 25) In a phone interview with Beyond90Seconds.com Friday afternoon, Constable David Higgs of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police confirmed that the body found inside a barrel pulled from the Lee River Wednesday was that of 22-year-old Chad Randall Davis.

Davis as reported missing in Winnipeg on February 10, 2008.

Special thanks to Beyond90Seconds.com reader “Leo” for leaving a comment that the body had been identified as Chad Davis. That prompted a quick Google search which turned up nothing.  However, I called the home of George Knight (one of the men who found the body).  A person answering the phone at Knight’s home explained that Channel 5 in Winnipeg had reported the identity of the body.

Update, August 14, 10:40pm PST: RCMP set up tip line (Lac du Bonnet Leader)

Update, August 3, 3:49am PST: Family mourns son (Winnipeg Sun)

Update, July 27, 4:43am PST: Facebook page, Help find Chad Davis (a Facebook account is required.  After logging into Facebook.com, enter “Help find Chad Davis” into Facebook’s search engine)

Update, July 27, 3:37am PST:
Who could do cruel act? Girlfriend cries for Chad Davis, plans funeral (Winnipeg Free Press)

“This is the most disgusting thing I’ve ever heard of in the world. I can’t get it out of my mind,” his weeping girlfriend Courtney Sych told the Free Press in a telephone interview from her Calgary residence. (Winnipeg Free Press)

Update, July 25, 8:16pm PST: New insight concerning Davis’ disappearance is found in a February 27, 2008 Global Winnipeg news story (thanks to Beyond90Seconds.com reader “Tami” for forwarding the link):

His family told police he has never gone missing like this before and they are very worried about his safety.
 
Davis appears to have a troubled past: police say he is “known” to them, and court records show Davis has a number of outstanding charges for failing to comply with court orders and a drug related offense. He also has a prior conviction for assault. –Global Winnipeg
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Body found in barrel floating in river

Phone interview with George Knight; the man who first saw the body.
*PLEASED BE ADVISED THAT PODCAST IS UNEDITED & CONTAINS SOME PROFANITY

[hr]

(July 24) While the Royal Canadian Mounted Police already have quite a mystery concerning the human feet that have emerged along the shores of British Columbia, another Canadian waterway has just served-up another grisly find:  The body of a man found stuffed inside a barrel that had been floating down the Lee River northeast of Winnipeg.

According to a breaking news story in this afternoon’s Winnipeg Free Press, two neighbors noticed the barrel bobbing in the river Wednesday:

Two cottagers were horrified when they discovered the decomposing body of a man stuffed face-first inside a barrel floating in the Lee River on Wednesday morning.

George Knight, 69, was repairing his dock in Fisher’s Grove along the Lee River, about 90 kilometres northeast from Winnipeg, when he and neighbour Richard Marcotte noticed a barrel bobbing in the water between their two properties.

Knight said he and Marcotte rolled the barrel near the river’s edge and pried the lid off only to discover a man’s “rear-end” wrapped in a thick plastic sheet.

“I’m pulling this plastic out and I sort or lift it up and I see this guy’s rear-end,” Knight said, noting he also saw jeans and a brown belt inside the barrel. “I just said to Richard, ‘get out of the water!’ He jumped out of the water, and I ran up to his place and called 911.” 

Mr. Knight told the newspaper that the stench from the body was “terrible” and could be smelled 50-feet away.

The RCMP says it will not confirm the story, telling the Winnipeg Free Press that authorities are waiting for the result of an autopsy.

Stay tuned…


UPDATE: Body of man in barrel identified (audio interview with RCMP)