'He always had the biggest smile': Mother and friends of homicide victim Jacob Chitze speak
EDMONTON -- Leduc RCMP are looking for the attendees of a house party last month at which a 19-year-old was killed in what police have deemed a homicide.
Police were called to the party at 2:05 a.m., June 18 after a man was injured.
EMS attended and pronounced 19-year-old Jacob Michael Chitze dead, police said.
The death has now been ruled a homicide and the RCMP Major Crimes Unit continues to investigate.
There is no known connection between Chitze and his assailants, said police.
Police say there was approximately 100 people at the party, and believe there could be video of the incident leading to Chitze's death.
"They're actively trying to piece everything together, so any video that anybody who was at that party might have could be very important to us in this investigation," said Cpl. Laurel Scott. "We are trying to identify who's responsible for this attack and the homicide of Jacob Chitze."
In a video posted to Instagram, Chitze's mother Laura asked for witnesses to come forward.
"For the young people that were also involved in hurting my son, please know that this is going to be on your conscious as well," said Chitze. "The only thing that's going to set you free is probably by coming forward, and helping to put the murderer away."
"I'm asking you to please do this. Don't let him be free," she said.
“No matter what happened, he always had the biggest smile. Even if he was having a down day,” Kyle Rhode said of his friend.
Rhode considered going to the party back in June.
“I’ve almost never regretted something more in my life. If I was there that day, I’d either be dead with him or he’d still be alive today.”
Anyone who was at the party and has information, or video to provide, is asked to contact Leduc RCMP at 780-980-7267 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).
“For the people that are afraid, that were there that night, you should not be. This isn’t ratting on somebody. This is justice. This is a child who had to be buried by their own mother,” Rhode said.
Friends of the family have started a GoFundMe page to help cover Chitze's funeral expenses.