Body of missing Rwandan discovered in Canadian river
Over a month ago, she left her home in the city of Montreal, Canada for what looked like a normal evening walk, but never returned.
Subsequent frantic searches by Police and her family across the vast North American country led to nothing.
But on Saturday, the body of Clémence Umugwaneza, a 26-year old Rwandan woman, who was also a Canadian citizen, was discovered more than 100 kilometres away from her home, floating in the St. Lawrence River.
According to reports from Canada, the circumstances under which she died remain unclear, more than a month after she left her home.
The body was spotted by the Coast Guard on Saturday night near Louiseville, about 115 kilometres northeast of Montreal.
In an interview with The New Times, Rwanda’s High Commissioner to Canada, Edda Mukabagwiza, said that the death of Umugwaneza has left the Rwandan community in shock.
“Just a day before the body was discovered, the mother had actually called me. She told me that they were going to meet with the Rwandan community in Montreal as well as well-wishers, but ironically the sad news came in during the same gathering. We are all in shock,” Mukabagwiza said.
She noted that while the deceased was a Canadian citizen, the Rwandan Community in the North American nation felt obliged to stand in solidarity with her family throughout the search and after the tragic news was broken to them.
“We were in touch with the family all this time. They are definitely devastated. We are waiting to get more information from the Police after the post-mortem,” the High Commissioner said.
According to reports, the corpse was pulled out of the river and taken by Police for further investigations.
An autopsy will be carried out to ascertain the cause of her death and how long Umugwaneza had been in the river, Montreal Police spokesperson Mélanie Martineau told Canadian media.
“All avenues of investigation are still open. It’s really the autopsy that will determine where we go from here,” Martineau said.
Her family alerted Police of her disappearance after she didn’t return. It is said that she had no history of disappearing, had no suicidal tendencies, and did not associate with unsavoury characters.
Burial arrangements will be announced after full investigations.
Contact email: Edmund.kagire[at]newtimes.co.rw