Body of St. Lawrence student found in river

Ken Kilabuk loved Kingston and studying at St. Lawrence College, his girlfriend Meghan Mike says.
Ken Kilabuk loved Kingston and studying at St. Lawrence College, his girlfriend Meghan Mike says.
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Ken Kilabuk is being remembered as a kind, funny man by his girlfriend of over four years, Meghan Mike.

Kingston Police confirmed that a body they pulled from the Cataraqui River off the downtown shore on Saturday evening was that of St. Lawrence College student Kilabuk.

The body was discovered by a passerby around 5:15 p.m. on Saturday and police responded immediately. Police notified Kilabuk’s family and confirmed his identity on Sunday morning.

Mike, who lives in Ottawa, reported Kilabuck’s disappearance after failing to make contact with him on Oct. 16.

He was last seen early on the morning of Oct. 16 by an acquaintance around the area of Main St. and Raglan Rd. Following his disappearance, Kingston Police community volunteers searched the neighbourhood for signs of evidence.

Since the announcement of his death, hundreds of people have joined a “RIP Ken Kilabuk” group on Facebook, many of them from Kingston and from Kilabuk’s home province of Nunavut.

“He was the best guy. Everyone I’ve talked to said he was so nice,” Mike said, adding that he was always making people laugh.

Kilabuk studied arts and science at St. Lawrence College as well as carpentry. Mike said he enjoyed his studies so much that he planned to pursue further education in business or mechanics.

Mike said Kilabuk talked about raising a family with her in Kingston, as well as possibly moving back up north with her to open his own mechanic shop.

“He really liked Kingston and the people and the school,” she said. “He said ‘Kingston is the perfect place for everything.’”

St. Lawrence College will honour Kilabuk by lowering their flags and holding a memorial event, with details forthcoming. Mike said a ceremony was already held at the Katarokwi Native Friendship Centre on Sunday evening.

An autopsy was scheduled for Monday in Ottawa. Kingston Police Constable and Media Relations Officer Steven Koopman said the results of a toxicology report, which will be done in Toronto, likely won’t be known for months.

If the death is determined to be non-suspicious, the case will be turned over to the East Regional Coroner’s office, and Kingston Police may announce the cause of death on the coroner’s behalf.

“If it’s deemed non-suspicious in nature we don’t need to be involved. We’re simply an agent of the coroner,” he said.

If a criminal investigation emerges, the release of information will depend on the nature of the case and whether it could be compromised by full disclosure, he added.

Anyone with information is please asked to contact Detective Frank Howard at 613-549-4660 x 6126 or through email at fhoward@kpf.ca. Anonymous tips can be made to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or on the website at www.tipsubmit.com. Tipsters are eligible for a cash reward of up to $2,000.

— Holly Tousignant

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