Family, friends mourn death of young Sherwood Park man
Published Sunday, September 30, 2012 3:14PM MDT Last Updated Monday, October 1, 2012 9:45AM MDT
Friends and family are mourning the death of a young man from Sherwood Park, who was was only in the United Kingdom for less than a day before his body was discovered in a waste bin at a recycling plant.
Elsey arrived in Bristol on Wednesday.
On Thursday morning, his body was found in a waste bin at a recycling plant.
Elsey’s uncle Brent tells CTV News his nephew had gone out the evening he arrived in England.
“It appears on the way home he made a wrong turn and the information after that is a little more difficult to ascertain as there are no witnesses,” Brent said on Sunday.
Elsey was enrolled at the University of Bristol.
He had been attending Carleton University in Ottawa before heading to Bristol to study for a master’s degree in international security.
“He had a strong interest in political science,” Brent had originally told CTV News on Saturday.
“He had been very successful both academically and athletically and was a young man who had worked hard, was well-recognized by his peers and coaches and teachers.”
As police continue to search Bristol for clues, Elsey’s friends back home are trying to come to terms with the news of his death.
More than 100 people attended a memorial for Elsey in Ottawa on Saturday night.
“It was kind of a spur of the moment event but a lot of people showed up. He just meant a lot to a lot of people,” said Kendra Baker, one of Elsey’s friends.
“I think everybody just needed to get together and feel the support of their friends and feel the support of people who loved him.”
Elsey’s family said hearing about the memorial and hearing from Elsey’s friends has been heartwarming.
“It has been overwhelming and it’s been extremely valuable to my brother and his wife. It’s really reinforced for them, their own love for their son,” Brent said.
“He’s (Garrett’s father) hearing from people that have interacted with Garrett and are giving him a perspective that he never knew about his son so it’s been very heartwarming for both of them.”
Family and friends are describing Elsey as very bright and outgoing, and someone who would do anything for his friends.
“He was the best. He would go to the ends of the Earth for his friends,” Baker said. “If anybody ever needed anything, he would be there for him. He was just a really great guy.”
Elsey had travelled alone to the UK before so they were confident he would be safe studying abroad.
“It was obviously very sudden,” Baker said. “He hadn’t been over there long at all… nobody saw this coming. Everybody is just reeling. It’s absolutely unreal.”
According to British media reports, after the discovery of Elsey's body was made, police spent more than a day trying to track down where the waste bin had been picked up. They cordoned off nine locations across the city. Those scenes have since been cleared and an autopsy is reportedly taking place.
Aside from the wrong turn that Elsey is believed to have made the night before his body was found, there is still very little known on what happened to him.
“There will be a need to have some degree of closure to understand what the final moments of their child’s life were,” Brent said. “Our hope is that those answers will be forthcoming at some point.”
The Elsey's are hoping to get an update from Bristol police on Monday.
Meanwhile the family is planning to hold memorials for Elsey in both the Edmonton area and Ottawa.
With files from Sean Amato