Kin plead for info in ex-Chatham man’s death

The Observer (Sarnia) - - NEWS - TREVOR TERFLOTH

CHATHAM — The fam­ily of a Chatham-raised soldier who died last fall in east­ern On­tario is ex­press­ing frus­tra­tion at the lack of in­for­ma­tion they’ve re­ceived dur­ing the on­go­ing probe into his death.

The body of David Ryan O’Neil Jenner, 37, was re­cov­ered from the Bar­ron River in east­ern On­tario last Septem­ber.

Up­per Ot­tawa Val­ley OPP of­fi­cers were called to a spot on the river about three kilo­me­tres west of Black Bay in the town of Lau­ren­tian Hills on Sept. 16. Mem­bers of the un­der­wa­ter search and re­cov­ery unit made the re­cov­ery.

Linda Jenner, David’s mother, said she’s heard lit­tle news since, not­ing she’s con­tacted mul­ti­ple peo­ple.

“I feel like I’m be­ing ig­nored,” she said. “You can tell me, ‘Yes, it’s an on­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion. Yes, we’re still look­ing into it.’ Some­thing.

“I’m not ask­ing for a lot. I know it takes a while for tox­i­col­ogy re­ports, and you know, things like that to come back. But at least they could still re­as­sure me that they haven’t for­got­ten me.”

Po­lice stated at the time Jenner had been boat­ing with two other men when he en­tered the wa­ter with­out a life­jacket.

Linda Jenner won­ders why her son would have been on a boat in the first place.

“David did not like the wa­ter,” she said. “He hated wa­ter.”

Sgt. Cyn­thia Savard, OPP East Re­gion com­mu­nity ser­vice co-or­di­na­tor, con­firmed the coro­ner’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion is on­go­ing.

In the mean­time, she said po­lice weren’t go­ing to spec­u­late on what hap­pened.

“Un­til the cause of death is de­ter­mined by the coro­ner’s of­fice, the OPP will not draw any con­clu­sion,” she said.

Savard said she un­der­stands “it’s hard on the fam­ily,” but that the process can be lengthy.

“Time is not al­ways our friend,” she said.

David Jenner grad­u­ated from John McGre­gor sec­ondary school and coached at the Kayo Box­ing Club in Chatham, ac­cord­ing to his obit­u­ary.

He served for six years in the Cana­dian Armed Forces in the Royal Reg­i­ment of Cana­dian Ar­tillery, and with 1 and 2 Royal Cana­dian Horse Ar­tillery, where he re­ceived the nick­name, “Gun­ner.”

He was hon­ourably dis­charged and most re­cently worked as a se­cu­rity guard and de­liv­ery driver in Petawawa, the obit­u­ary stated. He was look­ing for­ward to re­turn­ing to the mil­i­tary this year.

“David was an awe­some guy. He loved life,” his mother said.


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