‘Addiction just ruins people’s lives’ Family grieves at wake for Winnipeg homicide victim
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 26/01/2022 (378 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Hymns played as they stood next to the open casket in the funeral home on Logan Avenue where their kin lay embalmed, his body ready to be sent north for burial in his home community of Pukatawagan.
They wailed in the Winnipeg chapel where the others who loved him came to see him for the last time. They wailed, tears in their eyes, sometimes softly, sometimes with shrieks.
“Why would you take my baby brother? Oh my God, Matthew,” family member Michelle Myran shouted Wednesday over the casket of 36-year-old Joseph Matthew Myran.
He was slain Jan. 17 in a Main Street apartment — a place his family said is a known methamphetamine and crack cocaine den.
On Wednesday, Winnipeg police said they had no further details to provide on the homicide investigation.
Last week, police said general patrol officers went to the apartment on the 800 block of Main Street for a report of “suspicious circumstances,” where they found Myran seriously injured. He was taken to hospital in critical condition, and later pronounced dead.
“I can’t live this life without him. I don’t know what I’m going to do when I wake up tomorrow,” Michelle, 36, told the Free Press. She grew up with Myran and considered him a brother, although they were cousins.
A slow stream of mourners came to pay their respects Wednesday; some brought children who looked wide-eyed at the coffin.
“I can’t live this life without him. I don’t know what I’m going to do when I wake up tomorrow.” – Michelle Myran, sister
Myran’s mother, 58-year-old Brenda Myran, held court over the wake, greeting family and friends next to the casket laden with flowers and ribbons of red, silver and gold.
Brenda said her son, who was raised by her sister but had spent time in foster care, was a good guy — gentle and kept to himself. At one time, he worked at a wooden pallet manufacturer on Nairn Avenue, and he cared deeply for his nieces and nephews.
But he fell hard into a meth addiction and started running with gangs — that’s what got him killed, family said.
“He was living in the gang life, the meth life… but he didn’t ever try to hurt anybody. It was just to get high,” Michelle said. “I know it was all gangster s—-, it was all bad, I knew, eventually, right, but you don’t want to think it.
“You see how addiction just ruins people’s lives.”
Myran used to live at the dingy two-storey apartment where he was slain — a known flop for heavy drug users, Michelle said. He was either going there to buy or sell methamphetamine the night he died, the family believes.
His drug use worsened amid the COVID-19 pandemic and he used federal worker relief funds to feed his habit, Michelle said.
“Just in the end of his life, he got into that meth… I was like… ‘Smarten up, you’re going to be dead one day.’ I knew this was going to happen,” she said, adding Myran had planned to go home to Pukatawagan to “save his life.”
“I said, ‘When you go there, you got to wean yourself off that s—- or you’re going to be crazy.’ He’s like, ‘I’m ready to do it, I’m ready to go up there and just wean myself off it, come back,’” she said.
“He had a job, he was the foreman.”
“He had a job, he was the foreman.” – Michelle Myran, sister
Michelle broke into tears, telling the Free Press the victim was a good man, who was kind to his family and others.
Myran’s mother said she wants police to make an arrest so she can face her son’s killer in court. She doesn’t want revenge: “Matthew wouldn’t want that.”
Instead, she wants to pray.
“No revenge, no revenge. I just hope (police) find him. I’m going to feel sorry for him.”
On the wall beside Brenda was a painting of a mother loon floating on a lake with its offspring, framed between pine forest as the sun sets.
In the chapel on Logan Avenue, a mother watched over her child, too — standing over the casket, as tears fell.
Erik Pindera reports for the city desk, with a particular focus on crime and justice.