Family of man found dead in storm drain wants answers
Update Sept 8: Vancouver Police say it's not believed Oudie's death is suspicious...
The devastated family of the young man found dead in an East Vancouver storm drain say they don’t believe he fell in – they believe he was pushed.
Relatives of Charles Oudie told CTV News they believe his case is much more than a suspicious death and are asking any witnesses to get in touch to temper their grief.
“In that hole, we can imagine him being in that little hole,” said his mom, Eugenia Oudie, through tears. “All night. All morning. When did he die? I feel so sorry when I think of it. Someone I feel pushed him in there.”
Oudie, 26, was discovered Sunday morning by a neighbor who saw shoes and clothing near the storm drain at Kaslo and Turner Streets in East Vancouver. Authorities retrieved the body and are now investigating.
There is a story going around the neighbourhood that Oudie was trying to retrieve his cellphone and fell in, said his mother. But Oudie’s personal items that police have returned tell a different story, she said.
One of his cellphones was recovered in North Vancouver, and it’s dry, said Oudie’s sister, Elisha Williams. The last text on it was sent at 3:19am.
His wallet wasn’t found on him, she said. When the wallet was returned it was given back without a bus pass and cash.
Oudie does have another phone, but it’s not clear where that has gone, and Williams said that hasn’t been found in the drain, which is still partly full of water.
“How come police didn’t drain that area? Why didn’t they drain it to find the thing he’s supposed to have looked for?” asked another sister, Melissa Oudie.
Charles Oudie was a graduate of New Westminster Secondary School, and was going to Native Education College in Vancouver to upgrade some courses so he could go to university to be a counsellor, his family says. He didn’t have any enemies, said Williams.
“Such a nice guy. Never hurt anyone. Always had a positive thing to say,” said Williams.
He liked music and business, and was close to his nieces and nephews, she said.
He was on his way to the concert that night, but went drinking with friends at The Cambie downtown instead, the family said. Then he went to a friend’s house near the storm drain. It’s not clear what happened after that, or how they lost track of him.
The Oudies have set up a Facebook page to solicit tips, and a gofundme page to raise money to bring his family here for the funeral.