Charge laid in Rankin Inlet death

A man has been charged with first-degree murder following a brutal death in Rankin Inlet during the early morning hours of Friday, June 7.

An original press release issued by the RCMP stated that at about 1 a.m. on Friday, June 7, officers from the Rankin Inlet Detachment of the RCMP located a deceased individual.

The RCMP deemed the death suspicious in nature, were able to identify a suspect and began searching for that individual. This lead the RCMP to issue multiple shelter-in-place alerts for Rankin Inlet throughout the morning.

The suspect was located near the local firing range, just outside the community, the same morning, June 7.

Upon making contact, the suspect refused to surrender to police.

RCMP crisis negotiators were able to establish communications with the suspect, who surrendered to police and was arrested without incident before noon on June 7.

During the morning of June 7, the community had also been further advised that people could expect an additional police presence in Rankin Inlet during RCMP efforts in continuing the investigation, which had been taken over by the Nunavut RCMP Major Crimes Unit.

The following day, June 8, the Nunavut RCMP Major Crimes Unit charged Jack Ekwalak (43 years of age) with first-degree murder.

The RCMP did not reveal any information whatsoever about the victim to the public when announcing the first-degree-murder charge.

Sgt. Patrick Frenette of the Rankin Inlet Detachment of the RCMP said the RCMP would like to thank the community for its co-operation during the investigation and for the patience residents showed during the past few days.

“I want to send my deepest condolences to the family of the victim," said Sgt. Frenette.

Darrell Greer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Kivalliq News