Register or login today to start collecting Courier points!


Attackers were long gone by time Mountie spotted body

Print PDF

Const. Kris Clark, RCMP spokesman, provides the media with an update of the investigation into a fatal Rutland attack.
A Mountie on routine patrol spotted Chris Ausman's body on the sidewalk minutes after a nearby strip club closed, say RCMP.
As they often do during bar flush, officers were driving around the area of the Cadillac Lounge just after 2 a.m. Saturday when one of them discovered Ausman lying in a large pool of blood a block away and across Highway 33. No one else was nearby.
"A member came across what he determined . . . to be a person on the ground, approached and determined that it was a suspicious death," spokesman Const. Kris Clark said Monday.
Police aren't saying where Ausman was in the hours prior to his violent death.
Investigators have surveillance video of his image, Clark said, but they're not revealing where he was filmed.
Many speculate Ausman, 32, was stabbed or shot and witnesses scattered.
Police are waiting to hear the results of an autopsy set for this afternoon before they conclude he died in a homicide.
Global Okanagan reported Ausman and his younger brother Kelly were playing poker at a friend's place, two blocks from where he died. Kelly Ausman left early and Chris texted him that he was winning.
Kelly told Global he believes Chris went to the 7-Eleven at Rutland Road and Highway 33 to call a cab because his phone was dead. A stranger may have confronted him or attacked him from behind, he said.
Investigators appear to be sitting on a lot of information they're not releasing.
When asked if there was evidence of a fight, Clark said "I don't have any details that I can provide publicly."
Several people have provided tips to investigators, but it's clear they need better witnesses. Police are confident someone saw something, said Clark.
"This is a well-travelled area on the side of the highway within a block of Cadillac Lounge. (It's) a short distance away from 7-Eleven and
7-Eleven is open 24-7, so there's lots of traffic, both foot and vehicle traffic."
Ausman, the father of a 10-year-old girl, moved to Kelowna from Cranbrook about three years ago. He was studying to be a plumber and worked for his brother as an apprentice.
RCMP are not revealing what his injuries were. They're not saying whether officers retrieved a weapon or his wallet, or where he was that night. Clark was unaware of anyone taken into custody.
At least three serious-crime detectives are working on the case.
Police are asking nearby businesses for their video footage.
They'll release images to the media if it benefits the investigation, Clark said.
Friends and relatives are rocked by the tragedy. A memorial page on Facebook was filled with tributes to Ausman, referring many times to him as a brother and best friend.
"You always greeted me with a big hug and made sure your friends knew you loved them. You are honestly one of the most loving people I have ever met," Paul Dakin wrote. "I love you buddy and will see you again."

You must be registered and logged in to be able to comment!