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Man found shot laid to rest

Emily Ridlington
Northern News Services
Published Monday, July 4, 2011

IQALUIT - Family, friends and co-workers of the late Sylvain Degrasse filled the Our Lady of the Assumption Roman Catholic Mission to capacity for his funeral in Iqaluit on June 28.

"Even at this terrible moment we cannot judge him, we know him as a good man," said Father Daniel Perreault who led the service.

The 44-year-old's body was found at the cemetery on June 7 after he allegedly shot himself. Later police found the bodies of his partner Vivian Sula Enuaraq, 29 and their daughters Alexandra Degrasse, 7, and Aliyah Degrasse, 2, in their home.

Perreault said while many people are searching for answers as to how something like this could occur, he said there are no answers available or explanations.

"The mystery was in the mind of Sylvain that day," he said.

Amazing Grace was sung at the beginning of the service. The church quickly filled and others watched the ceremony via camera feed in the parish hall. Sylvain was baptized at the same church in 1966.

Perreault was the only one to speak at the service.

During the communion, Michael Murphy stepped up to microphone and sang a song a cappella.

"And you're gone away and we're hurting an empty inside," he sang.

According to police, the bodies of all four individuals were released to their families on June 24. Enuaraq and her daughters are to be buried in Pond Inlet and many family members travelled to the community shortly after the deaths for the funerals. Some members have had to return home while others remained until the bodies arrived.

The autopsy results have yet to be released

RCMP suspect a murder-suicide and are still investigating and still doing interviews with residents. "Everything is useful in either helping us confirm theories or eliminating theories," said Sgt. Greg Sutherland. He said he did a lot of the neighbourhood enquiries talking to individuals who live near the crime scenes and that police have spoken to dozens and dozens of people.

Before the service ended, Perreault reminded those in attendance to look to the future for hope and that suicide is not the way to solve problems.

"If we feel suffering so much in our own hearts, please look in the name of Jesus for help," he said. Following the service, Sylvain was buried in the cemetery near his mother and sister.

"We are all a human family, let us be there for each other."

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