Fam­ily thanks com­mu­nity af­ter son found dead

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The fam­ily of Prom­ise (Max) Chuk­wudum, who was found dead last week, are thank­ing the pub­lic and po­lice for their sup­port dur­ing the univer­sity stu­dent’s dis­ap­pear­ance.On Dec. 21, Regina Po­lice Ser­vice mem­bers re­sponded to re­port of a man’s body be­ing found in a creek area be­hind the Shell gas sta­tion on the cor­ner of Sher­wood Drive and Mcin­tosh Street. On Thurs­day evening, po­lice con­firmed the de­ceased man had been iden­ti­fied as Chuk­wudum. He had been miss­ing for just over a month.Po­lice said there was no in­di­ca­tion Chuk­wudum’s death was the re­sult of a crim­i­nal act. The re­lease said the Regina Po­lice Ser­vice and the Saskatchewan Coro­ners Ser­vice are con­duct­ing a death in­ves­ti­ga­tion to more fully un­der­stand the cir­cum­stances of his death.The 19-year-old Univer­sity of Regina stu­dent and rugby player went miss­ing in the early hours of Nov. 17. He was last seen around Mar­shall Cres­cent in Regina’s Nor­man­view neigh­bour­hood, a few blocks south of where his body was found on Fri­day af­ter­noon.A spokesper­son for Chuk­wudum’s fam­ily said they are ex­press­ing their thanks to the pub­lic, po­lice, me­dia and sup­port­ers for their help dur­ing the search.Chuk­wudum orig­i­nally was from La­gos, Nige­ria. He fol­lowed in the foot­steps of his older sis­ter, Chi­naza Chuk­wudum, who al­ready had come to Canada to study at the Univer­sity of Saskatchewan.He was in his sec­ond year of com­puter science and played on the Univer­sity of Regina rugby team. He was pre­par­ing for a fu­ture in busi­ness and tech­nol­ogy. His fam­ily said he was “care­free,” loved sports and was ex­cited to be in Canada.Nathan Scraz­zutti said he had al­ways hoped there was a chance he would get to see his friend and rugby team­mate again. He said the dis­cov­ery, though tragic, at least has pro­vided some clo­sure.“Un­til we heard that news, there was al­ways a chance that I was just go­ing to get to yell at Max for wan­der­ing off and not telling any of us, but then again it’s not the night­mare sce­nario we were all ter­ri­fied of, where we would have never found out what had hap­pened,” Scraz­zutti said.Scraz­zutti thanked mem­bers of the pub­lic who helped in search ef­forts or raised aware­ness.“It was won­der­ful to see the out­pour­ing of sup­port for Max and his fam­ily, and while it’s ter­ri­ble we came to this con­clu­sion, it’s some­thing that we can lean back on to know that this com­mu­nity watches out for its own,” Scraz­zutti said.Scraz­zutti said the rugby com­mu­nity has set a date to gather, and plans to find a char­ity it can make do­na­tions to in Prom­ise’s name.Soon af­ter Prom­ise went miss­ing, Chi­naza joined teams of vol­un­teers dur­ing search ef­forts to find her brother. David Chuk­wudum, fa­ther to both Chi­naza and Prom­ise, trav­elled to Regina from Nige­ria in late Novem­ber to find out what had hap­pened to his son.The Univer­sity of Regina pro­vided sup­port to both fam­ily mem­bers, and hosted a rally ti­tled #Bring­max­home on Nov. 29. A candlelight vigil fol­lowed on Dec. 13 at City Hall.Thomas Chase, provost and vice pres­i­dent (aca­demic) at the U of R, had worked closely with Chuk­wudum’s fam­ily dur­ing his dis­ap­pear­ance. He said the stu­dent’s fa­ther re­turned to Nige­ria about four days ago. Chase called the out­come a dev­as­tat­ing loss.“To lose a stu­dent un­der any cir­cum­stances is very painful for the univer­sity com­mu­nity. To lose some­one un­der these cir­cum­stances, and some­one who has come to univer­sity from so far away, is very painful,” Chase said.

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