Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

'Memories of her everywhere'

Mom took on extra job to be sure gifts were under Christmas tree. A killer took away what her son wanted most

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Anthony Chaboyer's mother took an extra part-time job every year before Christmas to make sure Anthony had lots of gifts under the tree. But now because of that job, Anthony will never spend another Christmas with his mom.

Anthony's mom, Lissa Chaboyer, was stabbed to death while driving a taxi in Thompson on Nov. 26, 2005 around 12:30 a.m.

Her body was found in a parking lot behind the City Centre Mall on the ground next to her vehicle. She was 35.

The slaying has never been solved.

Lissa was a single mother and Anthony was only 16 when his mom was killed. He has been raised by his grandparents ever since.

His grandfather, Milton Chaboyer, said although they have all dealt with something unimaginable, the biggest tragedy was a son losing his mother.

"You and I can never imagine what the little fellow has gone through," Milton said. "There are memories of her everywhere and occasions are really tough. He lost a big part of his life. He really misses her. We all miss her."

Despite having to deal with the loss of his mother and the brutal way in which she died, Milton said his grandson has actually become a stronger and more mature person in the years since her death.

"It strengthened him. He wants to do the types of things his mother would have wanted him to do, so his grades improved, he graduated and he's been working the same full-time job for four years."

Along with being a single mother, Lissa was a foster mother to many children over the years. She drove a taxi to make sure her family was well taken care of at Christmastime. Milton believes she was probably killed as part of a robbery, but said he has not always gotten straight answers from the police.

"She was at the end of her shift and probably had a few hundred dollars on her, but the cops never did tell us. If it was a robbery, how can any life be worth a few hundred dollars? We could deal with it if it was an accident or a natural death, but there was just no reason for this."

Milton said that over the eight years since the slaying, he has grown more and more frustrated with the lack of progress in the case.

"In the last few years it has just gone completely dormant. It just feels like the case has just been put in some box on a shelf. We don't want to call it a cold case, but that is what it feels like more and more every day."

RCMP spokeswoman Sgt. Line Karpish said the investigation of the homicide remains active and is being conducted by the RCMP "D" Division historical case unit.

Although many details of the killing are still unknown, Karpish said that on the fatal night, Lissa was dispatched to a fare at the Thompson Arena just after midnight and a few minutes later called her dispatcher to say she was headed to the Ramada-Burntwood Hotel. Police don't know for certain if Lissa picked up any passengers at the Thompson Arena or actually stopped at the hotel.

The RCMP believe that at around 12:30 a.m., she was driving with passengers in her cab. She drove into the back parking lot behind the City Centre Mall. She was attacked and killed by her passengers and was left lying on the ground outside her cab. Karpish said no charges have been laid.

Milton Chaboyer said he now fears he will grow old never knowing who killed his daughter.

"I'm 67 now and I don't want to live with this for the rest of my life. It is just something you can't put to bed. It's with us all the time. We don't know the real reason it happened. Hopefully, we'll know one day."

Milton Chaboyer is offering a $5,000 reward for anyone with information that can lead to an arrest in the case, and anyone with information on it can contact Thompson RCMP at 204-677-6909 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222- 8477 (TIPS).

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 10, 2013 A4

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