North River homi­cide re­mains un­solved

Neigh­bours con­cerned high pro­file case may be go­ing cold

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BYMELISSA JENK­INS

Neigh­bours of Dale Porter, who was the vic­tim of a homi­cide out­side his home in North River June 29, have been anx­iously wait­ing for the RCMP to an­nounce a break in the high pro­file case.

De­tails have been scarce and up to late last week, no ar­rests had been made.

De­spite re­as­sur­ances from the RCMP that all avail­able re­sources are be­ing ded­i­cated to the case, some ar­eas res­i­dents were start­ing to won­der last week if jus­tice will be served.

Too quiet

The main road through the town, which was closed for four days fol­low­ing the crime, has re­turned to nor­mal, and one North River res­i­dent, who asked not to be iden­ti­fied, said things have be­come quiet.

“It seems like it’s al­most too quiet,” she told The Com­pass last week.

In fact, she, along oth­ers from the area, fear the case may be go­ing cold.

“We heard it on the news for the first few days, but then there was noth­ing,” she ex­plained.

“Ev­ery­one is just con­cerned, dis­heart­ened that no one is be­ing held (ac­count­able for Dale’s death),” she said.

Hopes for a break in the case were height­ened on the evening of July 5, when of­fi­cers car­ried out a high pro­file and dra­matic raid and search of the Vik­ings MC club­house in Cupids.

Po­lice re­fused to link the search to the North River mur­der, but the Com­pass was able to con­firm that the lead of­fi­cer with the RCMP’s ma­jor crimes unit in east­ern New­found­land was at the scene. Spe­cial­ists in foren­sics were also at the scene, and of­fi­cers could be seen re­mov­ing items from the club­house. A ser­vice dog was also brought in to carry out a search of the property.

Po­lice have not hid­den the fact they be­lieve the Vik­ings are an “out­law” mo­tor­cy­cle gang, one of three in the prov­ince.

Mayor of­fers con­do­lences

Mean­while, North River Mayor Blair Hur­ley spoke briefly with The Com­pass July 15 to of­fer his con­do­lences to the fam­ily.

“The only thing I can say, our thoughts are cer­tainly with the fam­ily dur­ing this time of tragic loss,” he said.

When asked how the com­mu­nity was cop­ing, Hur­ley po­litely de­clined com­ment. He did, how­ever, say he was con­fi­dent the RCMP is “work­ing avidly to solve the crime.”

Porter, who was 39, was buried fol­low­ing a fu­neral ser­vice in Port de Grave on July 6. He was a fa­ther of two young chil­dren, and worked in the fish­ery.

De­tails of his death are sketchy, and po­lice have re­fused to re­lease any in­for­ma­tion re­lat­ing to a post-mortem.

Sources have con­firmed that Porter and sev­eral oth­ers were at the Coach House night­club in Bay Roberts un­til the early hours. A man who spoke with Porter that morn­ing said Porter seemed in good spir­its and was hav­ing a good time.

Porter and three oth­ers, sources say, were trans­ported home in a taxi. When a sec­ond cab ar­rived a short time later car­ry­ing an­other group of friends, Porter was found in the drive­way, bleed­ing and clearly in­jured. He later died in hospi­tal. The in­ci­dent sent shock­waves through­out the re­gion, and caused a sense of un­ease as res­i­dents won­dered if there was a threat to pub­lic safety.

Sev­eral days later, an RCMP state­ment of­fered as­sur­ances that pub­lic safety was not at risk be­cause of the homi­cide.

For sev­eral days af­ter Porter’s death, searchers combed the area near his house, ap­par­ently search­ing for ev­i­dence linked to the mur­der.

RCMP re­sponse

The Com­pass emailed a se­ries of ques­tions to the RCMP last week, seek­ing an up­date on the case, but a spokesman would only of­fer the fol­low­ing re­sponse:

“We ap­pre­ci­ate your in­quiries but we are not be­ing any more spe­cific on this in­ves­ti­ga­tion at this time. It is vi­tal that we pre­serve our in­ves­ti­ga­tion, which in­cludes con­trol­ling what in­for­ma­tion is re­leased.

“All in­volved in this file are aware of the many me­dia ques­tions and will do our best to re­lease fur­ther in­for­ma­tion when ap­pro­pri­ate.”

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