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RCMP lays charges in connection with ‘altercation’ at house party on eve of U of O student’s homecoming

THE ROYAL CANADIAN Mounted Police (RCMP) have laid charges in connection with the death of Emerson Curran.

Curran, 20, was a University of Ottawa student entering his third year in philosophy. He was pronounced dead Aug. 25 after an “altercation” at a house party on Aug. 23 in Yellowknife, where he had been working for the summer.

Roman Bourque has been charged with manslaughter in connection with Curran’s death. Bourque had his first court appearance on Aug. 30.

Curran was working as a dock hand at Air Tindi, a small regional airline in Yellowknife. He was scheduled to return to Ottawa on Aug. 24. On the eve of his departure, he attended a house party where the incident took place.

The RCMP have released no details about the victim beyond his age, though they have confirmed responding to a call in the Range Lake area of Yellowknife.

The RCMP Major Crime Unit interviewed more than 100 witnesses before laying charges, although not all witnesses had attended the party.

Michael Curran, Emerson’s father, called his son’s death “a loss of unimaginable proportions” in a written statement.

“Emerson was such a thoughtful, intelligent, and loving son, brother, and friend,” he wrote.

Curran’s liver, heart, lungs, kidneys, and pancreas have been donated.

“Many months ago, in a conversation with his mother, Emerson expressed his philosophy on life and also talked about organ donation. In our immense struggle to make sense of this tragedy, we ask that other sons, daughters and families have a talk about organ donation,” his father wrote.

“We believe that Emerson’s end will help sustain the future of many others. His gift is giving us a glimmer of goodness and hope. That part of this story is really the only thing sustaining me right now,” he wrote.

“I’ll always love you Emerson Curran,” wrote Curran’s girlfriend, Jillian Gummo, on Facebook. “You were my best friend and one of the few people I knew never judged me for the way I was and I hope you’ll always remember that I felt the same way.”

U of O spokesperson Caroline Milliard said a letter of condolence has been sent to Curran’s family from the faculty of arts, but the document will remain private.