October 5, 2017 11:16 am
Updated: October 5, 2017 11:32 am

Fundraiser to honour memory of Cobourg murder victim Rachel Russell

Family of Rachel Russell are speaking out and organizing a fundraiser in her honour. The woman was found murdered in Cobourg in November 2007.

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The family of Rachel Russell is holding a special fundraiser next month to mark the 10th anniversary of her murder.

“We still have no clue on what happened to her that evening,” said Rachel’s sister, Shelley Russell.

The body of the 29-year-old was found along rail tracks in Cobourg, Ont., on Nov. 12, 2007.

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OPP determined she died of blunt force trauma but they have never located her killer. One man — Wayne Ryman — was charged with second-degree murder in October 2008 but the charges were dropped seven months later when the Crown said the prospect of a conviction was unlikely.

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The OPP have offered a $50,000 reward leading to an arrest and conviction. Rachel is among the hundreds of cold cases being reviewed as part of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

“It’s still an active investigation,” said sister Cindy Russell.

“We’re just hoping somebody might remember some thing that they didn’t remember in the past.”

Russell’s body was located in an area known for drug dealers and users. Her sisters say Russell became addicted to painkillers after an operation for a burst appendix. That’s when doctors discovered she had cancer.

“It was just one bad downfall after another … I mean, it was the life she led,” said Shelley Russell.

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But the sisters fondly remember Rachel as “bubbly” and “full of life.”

“She could make anybody smile. She was very likeable — you wanted to hang out with Rachel,” said Cindy.

To honour Russell, a fundraiser will be held at the Cobourg Legion Branch 133 on Orr Street on Nov. 17. “Remembering Rachel Russell” will celebrate her life and raise money for the Northumberland United Way and for the Anishnaabe Kwewag Gamig Women’s Shelter’s Christmas hamper program in nearby Alderville First Nation.

“So all the money is going to stay in the community,” said Cindy.

“Because we want people to start talking about the case again and associate her with something positive.”

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