Disturbing discovery
Body found in ditch on Old Airport Road

Tracy Kovalench
Northern News Services

NNSL (Jul 08/98) - Two pedestrians stumbled across the dead body of a 49-year-old Yellowknifer as they crossed Old Airport Road Monday afternoon.

New to Yellowknife, the former Edmontonians who are now both working at Wal-Mart were looking for a shortcut to Pizza Hut. Instead, they discovered the man face down in a steep ditch beside the Petro Canada gas station on Old Airport Road.

Police were called to the scene shortly after noon to recovered the body, which was identified Wednesday as Ronald Asselin.

Asselin was last seen by friends Sunday about 2 p.m., says RCMP Const. Brad Kaeding.

"It's probable he had fallen into the ditch within half an hour of when he had disappeared," says Kaeding.

Asselin was subject to seizures, which his friends say could be brought on by alcohol, said Kaeding. "He was out for a walk and fell down."

A small crowd gathered around Asselin's body, which was discovered laying in about 20 centimetres of water next to the parking lot entrance.

An RCMP team roped off the area and politely asked spectators to move on as they approached the area. The officers spent more than two hours taking pictures, drawing diagrams and combing the area for clues.

Asselin's body showed no signs of trauma, but the cause of his death has yet to be confirmed. An autopsy has been ordered.

Asselin was widowed by the late Margaret Thrasher about four years ago. The well-known, town local is survived by his brother Philip Asselin of Yellowknife.