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Murder in Baker stuns hamlet

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services

Baker Lake (Oct 08/01) - Police have made an arrest in a homicide investigation in the Kivalliq.

Jeremy Kuuk, 29, of Baker Lake has been charged with second-degree murder in the beating death of Sam Nagyougalik, 40, also of Baker Lake.

Nagyougalik, a taxi driver, was found lying in the middle of the road near Arctic College during the early morning hours of Oct. 2.

Investigators said they believe the fatal incident took place between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. The area was blocked off from the public soon after police received the report of the body.

The hamlet's two schools and day care closed for the day as the three-member Baker Lake detachment of the RCMP waited for five officers from the Nunavut Major Crimes Unit and one officer from the Nunavut forensic identification unit to fly in from Iqaluit.

A post-mortem exam performed by a pathologist on Nagyougalik's body this past Thursday in Winnipeg concluded the official cause of death was blunt-force trauma.

Cpl. Paul Richer of the Baker Lake RCMP said last week the ordeal has taken a great deal out of the community.

"This has been very hard on the entire community, especially the families of the two individuals involved," he said. "These types of things are never easy and it will be awhile before things get back to normal in our community."

Kuuk made his first appearance in Nunavut Court of Justice in Iqaluit Friday afternoon.

He was remanded to the Baffin Correctional Centre, where he is expected to remain until his next court appearance, which is scheduled for Nov. 1 at 9:30 a.m.