Calgary police look for information on Colton Crowshoe's killing — 8 years later

·3 min read
Colton Crowshoe disappeared after leaving a house party in 2014. His body was found in a pond three weeks later and his death has been deemed a homicide. (Submitted by Crowshoe family  - image credit)
Colton Crowshoe disappeared after leaving a house party in 2014. His body was found in a pond three weeks later and his death has been deemed a homicide. (Submitted by Crowshoe family - image credit)

The unsolved killing of Calgary teen Colton James Crowshoe in 2014 has homicide detectives and the victim's family looking to the public for answers.

"I just hope that … somebody will kind of stand up and tell the truth," said Colton's father, Jimmy Crowshoe, at a news conference on Thursday.

"If somebody knows the truth, I want them to at least say something so we can close things down and keep going."

Colton Crowshoe, 18, left a house party in the northeast community of Abbeydale on July 4, 2014.

Calgary Police Service investigators believe he was killed shortly after leaving the party.

Crowshoe's body was discovered in a retention pond near Stoney Trail and 16th Avenue N.E. three weeks later.

Dave Gilson/CBC News
Dave Gilson/CBC News

An autopsy confirmed his death to be a homicide, and police say they believe there are people in the community who have information that could help solve the case.

Investigators say they've spoken with several witnesses but believe there are still people who have not come forward, including potential witnesses who were at the house party.

"For almost eight years, individuals in our community have stayed silent about Colton's death," said Staff Sgt. Sean Gregson of the CPS homicide unit.

Gregson said CPS is committed to finding answers for the family but said police need help "to put the final pieces together."

Crowshoe's death has been very hard on his family, said his aunt Anne Crowshoe.

"We live through this every day. I saw the toll it took on my family, on my brother and his children. I know … somebody knows something," she said.

"Help us bring justice for my brother and his family and the rest of us that loved Colton dearly."

Submitted by Crowshoe family
Submitted by Crowshoe family

His aunt added that this has been an especially difficult time for the family because Colton's mother recently died.

"She passed away not knowing what happened to her son," said Crowshoe.

Colton's aunt Nicole Johnston described the teen as a "very loving, kind and generous person."

"Colton just graduated. He had future endeavours. He had future goals he was working for and was excited for. His life was taken from him. And it was so unfair to Colton. And so unfair to the rest of us," said Johnston.

Investigators are asking anyone who was at the house party or who has since learned information about his death to come forward.

Police say even if members of the public believe their information isn't relevant or is already known by investigators, they should contact CPS.

Failures in police investigation 

When Crowshoe didn't come home after the house party, his family begged police to treat his disappearance as a missing-person case. But but that did not happen for nearly three weeks.

The family felt CPS didn't take Crowshoe's disappearance seriously because he was a young Indigenous man who'd had interactions with police.

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) launched a 32-month investigation.

The civilian oversight agency looks into police incidents that result in serious injury or death as well as allegations of police misconduct.

In this case, no charges were laid. ASIRT did find mistakes had been made during the investigation, although the problems were not related to racism, said director Sue Hughson at the time.

ASIRT also called the delay to treat Crowshoe's disappearance as a missing-person case "unacceptable."

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