January 9, 2019 12:14 pm

Father decries ‘needless’ tragedy after fatal stabbing

Nico Baltzis is the victim of London's first homicide in 2019.

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The father of a young man fatally stabbed over the weekend says his son had “troubles in his past,” but was “trying hard to set things straight for himself.”

An aspiring tattoo artist who wanted to spend more time with his three-year-old daughter, Nicholas Baltzis — “Nico” to friends and family — had been helping clean out his mom’s southwest London home for sale on Sunday evening, Mike Baltzis explained.

“The person they got in custody was a friend to Nico, was there helping him, and somehow things got ugly,” he said.

READ MORE: London man charged with second degree murder in stabbing death investigation: London police

London police cruisers outside the duplex on Notre Dame Drive on Monday morning.

Liny Lamberink/980 CFPL

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London police were called to a duplex on Notre Dame Drive around 6:50 p.m. for a reported stabbing. Baltzis, 25, was rushed to hospital, where he was later pronounced dead. Police had a suspect in custody shortly after the incident, and announced a second-degree murder charge against 28-year-old Karl Hallman the next day.

“I don’t know how long they were friends for,” Mike Baltzis said. “Quite frankly, I don’t care.”

Instead, Baltzis is reflecting on his son’s life and lamenting the fact he didn’t get to say goodbye. The two hadn’t been speaking with each other in the few months leading up to Nico’s death.

“This time I didn’t get a chance to make up for it,” Baltzis said, his voice wavering. “Breaks my heart to know … that things were left on a bad note.”

READ MORE: Forty-three victim impact statements entered in sentencing hearing for man convicted in Nathan Deslippe’s death

Funeral arrangements haven’t been made yet for the 25-year-old man, survived by two brothers, ages 23 and eight, his parents, and his daughter.

“I think he had a lot of guilt because … he was kind of troubled, kind of missed some time with his daughter. But he was trying to fix all that up, he was going to see her a little bit more often. He loved her a lot, he was a good dad.”

Baltzis has photos of Nico and his daughter playing together in his backyard, and sleeping in a hammock. There are also photos of Nico playing soccer as a young boy, and of Baltzis and all the three brothers together.

“He was great son, a happy go lucky kid. Always smiling, always had a good heart.”

Those photos are what Baltzis clings to now, helping him get through what he calls a stupid and needless tragedy.

“I wish I could tell him I love him, and that I’m sorry. I wish I could have been there more for him. Tell him that I love him, hug him, kiss him. That’s all a father can do really, right?”

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