A man has come forward as a potential witness to an unsolved murder that took place in Fort Simpson eight years ago.
Billy Cholo, 45, was found dead in a Fort Simpson gazebo in January 2014. While RCMP arrested an unidentified individual in connection with the case in 2017, that person was later released. Nobody has been charged in Cholo’s death.
RCMP have long said they believe there are people with crucial information about the case that have yet to come forward.
A former resident of Fort Simpson, whom Cabin Radio has chosen not to name, recently said in a video posted to Facebook he was with his friend Cholo on the night he was murdered.
The man said after dealing with challenges in his life, and with the encouragement of his partner, he now plans to tell police what he knows about the case.
“I know the truth about who killed Cholo,” the emotional man says in the video. “I just want his family to be alright. To have peace for him.
“I just didn’t know who to talk to.”
The man declined Cabin Radio’s request for an interview.
Troy Bradbury has fought to keep Cholo’s case in the public light, sharing stickers that read “who killed Billy Cholo?” and posting about the case on social media. Bradbury said he is glad someone has come forward and hopes it will lead to progress in the case.
“He’s really distraught because he’s held back all this time,” Bradbury said of the man. “He’s worried that people are going to be mad at him and I’m like, ‘No, we’re not mad at you. We’re actually happy that you’re coming forward.’”
Bradbury said Cholo was a “pretty funny guy” who always had a smile on his face.
“There’s a murderer walking around our streets and basically getting away with it,” Bradbury said of his motivation to get answers.
“We just want to solve it. It’s been hard on our community, especially this time of year, when it’s the anniversary of his death.”
Sergeant Jason Hurley, an RCMP major crimes officer, told Cabin Radio the investigation into Cholo’s death is still open and officers will continue to look into public tips.
“The investigative team is confident that there are individuals out there with vital information that could move this investigation forward,” Hurley wrote in an email.