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