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Rwandan family, African community have questions about international student’s mysterious death

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A Rwandan family is still searching for answers after their son was found dead in a remote area of Winnipeg last spring.

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A Rwandan family is still searching for answers after their son was found dead in a remote area of Winnipeg last spring.

Gad Iradukunda, who family say was a student at the International College of Manitoba, was found dead in May on a vacant plot along Tim Sale Drive in South Pointe. His family flew in from Kigali, Rwanda on Oct. 13 and held a traditional burial ceremony at Riverwood Church in Winnipeg shortly after.

The 21-year-old’s family has returned to Kigali, but his father, Leonard Nyaminani, told New Canadian Media through a translator he plans to return to Winnipeg to continue seeking answers.

SAMPO ABDUL PHOTO

Iradukunda’s peers, family and community supporters bid a final farewell to 21-year-old Rwandan international student Gad Iradukunda whose body was found in Winnipeg earlier this year.

The African Communities of Manitoba Inc. is planning to hold a news conference to call for a full investigation into Iradukunda’s death.

Uche Nwankwo of AfriCans in South Winnipeg said the family and members of Manitoba’s African community are concerned the death hasn’t been properly investigated.

The Winnipeg Police Service said earlier this month the death was not considered a criminal act.

A spokesperson for the provincial chief medical examiner said she could not comment on the death or confirm whether an autopsy had been conducted

However, a source told New Canadian Media that the medical examiner could not establish a cause of death because of the decomposition of Iradukunda’s body.

It’s unclear if Iradukunda’s family has received any information from the medical examiner. A family member must request an autopsy report — if one was conducted — to receive information on a death. Medical examiners perform autopsies based on their own discretion.

The University of Manitoba would not confirm if Iradukunda was a student at the International College of Manitoba at the time of his death.

Maurice Muhizi, an international student from Rwanda studying at the college, said he was asked by the Rwandan embassy in Ottawa last spring to help confirm Iradukunda’s identity.

SAMPO ABDUL PHOTO

21-year-old international student from Rwanda Gad Iradukunda’s parents Leonard Nyaminan (left) and Chantal Kayites are seeking answers to the circumstances surrounding the death of their son whose body was found in a vacant lot in May.

Muhizi connected the embassy with Iradukunda’s brother, who was living in the United States. The brother last heard from Iradukunda in March, Muhizi said.

Iradukunda’s identity was determined through DNA provided by his brother, Muhizi said.

This story was written for the Winnipeg Free Press as part of a partnership with New Canadian Media.

— New Canadian Media

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Updated on Friday, October 28, 2022 4:04 PM CDT: Updates copy for clarity

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