'So tragic': Friends mourn former Helix guitarist slain Sunday in London, Ont.'s Gibbons Park

Guitarist Daniel Fawcett, 52, was found deceased in Gibbons Park in London, Ont., early on Sunday. (Dan Fawcett/Facebook - image credit)
Guitarist Daniel Fawcett, 52, was found deceased in Gibbons Park in London, Ont., early on Sunday. (Dan Fawcett/Facebook - image credit)

London, Ont.'s fifth homicide victim this year has been identified as Daniel Fawcett, 52, a former member of the band Helix.

Fawcett, who's from London, was a well-known local musician who most recently was part of Tim 'E' and the Yes Men, an Elvis Presley tribute band. He had been part of the successful Kitchener, Ont., hard rock band Helix from 2002 to 2004.

"He wouldn't hurt a flea. He was one of the biggest kind-hearted guys that ever walked the planet, and to take him away from his beautiful daughter, and everybody that loves him, is just such an awful thing," said Tim Hendry, an Elvis tribute artist and close friend of Fawcett who lives and performs in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.

Hendry said he and Fawcett had known each other and been friends for 34 years.

On Sunday, London police closed off a section of Gibbons Park near the end of Grosvenor Street for what they initially called a suspicious death investigation. On Monday, police confirmed the man found dead in the park was likely a victim of homicide and identified him as Fawcett.

A neighbour told CBC News she woke up to the sound of sirens around 7 a.m. ET Sunday.

Daughter, music 'only thing that mattered'

According to Hendry, Fawcett had fallen upon a decline in business, finding it hard to secure work as a musician in the London region. But lately, his luck was turning and big plans were beginning to materialize when he was killed.

"[Last week] I just said, 'You know, like, get your passport updated. Let's get you down here to Pigeon Forge, because there's so much work down here,'" said Hendry. "He was just like, 'Yeah, I want to do this. I want to get back. I got to get back to playing.'"

Fawcett had one daughter, as well as his siblings. He had spent his life as part of London's music scene and was known as a well-skilled, versatile guitarist. Hendry referred to him as one of the best guitarists he had played with.

"The only thing that mattered to him was his daughter, and music," said Hendry.

Tim Hendry/Facebook
Tim Hendry/Facebook

Devastation stemming from the news of Fawcett's death has been reverberating throughout what Hendry said is a close-knit, but sizable local music community.

"I've been talking to a lot of them and just, you know, the emotion we've felt is just — it's just so tragic."

Friend calls for help to find killer

Social media posts from those close to Fawcett express sadness and condolences to his family.

Now, Hendry's thoughts are focused on the future, condolences for Fawcett's family and closure. He's also wondering if and when whoever killed Fawcett will be caught.

"We need everybody's help to try to locate and find the person that took him from us and took him from his beautiful daughter," Hendry said. "We need everybody in London to bond together and try to find this piece of shit."

Investigators with the London Police Service (LPS) hope to speak with anyone who may have been in the 0-100 block of Grosvenor Street between 2 and 7 a.m. on Sunday or who may have information that could help with the investigation.

Tim Hendry/Facebook
Tim Hendry/Facebook