RCMP are appealing to the public for information about the murder of Austin Monias in Cross Lake five years ago.
Monias, who played hockey for the Cross Lake Islanders and coached younger hockey players as well as square dancing and rapping, died in the Cross Lake nursing station at the age of 19 after being stabbed during a fight at a house party on Mission Point in the early morning hours of Jan. 20, 2013.
Five people were arrested at the time of the stabbing but released without charges.
“Five years ago, a young life was abruptly taken one morning in Cross Lake,” said Manitoba RCMP media relations officer Sgt. Paul Manaigre in a Jan. 18 news release. “Austin was only 19 and had so much life ahead of him. We are dedicated to getting answers for his family. If anyone knows anything about what happened to Austin, we ask them to reach out to us.”
Monias's mother Cileen Umpherville said her son believed in change and dreamt of doing amazing things that he expressed in rap performances.
“We got to tell you the seven teachings are true; they will help you see the life meant for you. If you follow this life, if you follow these rules, the blessings of God will surely come true,” he said in one such video.
“Was sent to Heaven and sent back to earth, and in 93 (the year he was born) the world witnessed the rebirth of a warrior. I’m the medicine bundle carrier, one of the many Aboriginal peacemakers,” he rapped in another. “You gotta understand that I do have a plan to take away the pain so we do remain free as Aboriginals on this land.”
“His passion for life, desires for the future and all the expectations were taken from his life and the life of his friends and the youth of Cross Lake," said Umpherville. "It is so hard to live without him.”
Anyone with information relating to Monias's killing can contact the Cross Lake RCMP detachment at 204-676-2600.