Alicia Bateman, 28 and Ryan Sawchuk, 28 were found dead in her Ottawa home Saturday due to a possible murder-suicide. She was found in a jeep in her garage and he was found with a noose around his neck inside the house. Both were from Calgary. 
The couple had moved from Calgary to Ottawa a few years ago to start a new life. Bateman went to work with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service. And Sawchuk was hoping he would be able to find a job once they moved. He wasn’t so lucky in finding work so he moved back to Calgary a few months ago and they just kept their relationship going long distance and became engaged in December.

Mary Sawchuk, Mr. Sawchuk’s grandmother said her grandson was upset that he wasn’t able to stay in Ottawa because he didn’t meet the bilingual requirements of many employers. “Maybe things like that frustrated him and I don’t know …” she said trailing off. She said she was still very confused about what could have led to her grandson’s death.

Apparently the couple broke up last week Police say that shortly after that Sawchuk went back to Ottawa assuming to make up with Bateman.

Saturday police were called to the home and discovered the bodies of the two. News of the apparent suicide has left a neighborhood and friends that knew the couple in shock. Cause of death has not been determined as of yet. Valerie Pepit, a neighbor, said Ms. Bateman lived across the street from her, but mostly kept to herself. She described Ms. Bateman as an attractive woman who seemed to lead an active lifestyle.

Sawchuk was well known in Calgary as he played hockey with the Calgary Buffaloes for years reaching the junior B level and continued with the league as a coach. Calgarian Jason Konoff played Hockey with Sawchuk for about 6 years. He was “shocked” to hear about what happened. “From what I knew of him, he was a relaxed and laid-back kind of guy,” Konoff said Sunday night. “I couldn’t see him even remotely being capable of that, based on his attitude and nature.”

Just last week, in an unrelated incident five people were found dead in Northwest Calgary which ended up being a murder suicide also making this the second in less than a week involving Calgarians. I can’t help but wonder if Calgary, with all its latest crime, is even a safe place to live anymore.

Jan Barrett

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