A Winnipeg Free Press carrier who was viciously beaten on the job Saturday is no longer in a coma and is breathing on his own, family said Sunday.
Raymond Desrochers, 70, has been removed from the ICU at Health Sciences Centre, said daughter-in-law Jackie Desrochers.
She said Desrochers has injuries to his head and broken bones in his arm.
He was well enough to wave goodbye to his family when they visited today — a welcome sign for anxious family members.
"He recognized his wife, family," Jackie said. "They’re coping well. I think everyone’s feeling better."
He was discovered by a Free Press circulation manager who became concerned when customers began phoning saying they hadn't received their morning paper.
"He's just so dependable," Jackie Desrochers said.
"He's been doing that paper route for 17 years. He's like the mailman — through rain, sleet and snow. The manager knew immediately something had gone wrong when people started calling. He went out and looked for him and found him."
Jackie said Desrochers was likely lying outside for up to three hours and had hypothermia when he was rushed to hospital.
She said the house where he was found is vacant and he would have known he didn't have to drop a paper there.
"We don't know what happened," she said.
Free Press district manager Grant Crouch said Desrochers "is an excellent worker and just a great guy."
George Schelthelm, a circulation manager, said "his customer service is second to none. He always looks after his customers. The Free Press is lucky to have him."
Winnipeg police said if anyone has any information they are asked to call investigators at 986-6219 or CrimeStoppers at 786-TIPS (8477).