RCMP still mum on North River homicide

Melissa Jenkins melissa.jenkins@tc.tc
Published on July 16, 2014

Neighbours of Dale Porter, who was the victim of a homicide outside his home in North River June 29, have been anxiously waiting for the RCMP to announce a break in the high profile case.

Details have been scarce and no arrests have been made.

Despite reassurances from the RCMP that all available resources are being dedicated to the case, some areas residents are starting to wonder if justice will be served.


Too quiet

The main road through the town, which was closed for four days following the crime, has returned to normal, and one North River resident, who asked not to be identified, said things have become quiet.

“It seems like it’s almost too quiet,” she told The Compass.

In fact, she, along others from the area, fear the case may be going cold.

“We heard it on the news for the first few days, but then there was nothing,” she explained.

The woman gave an example of television programs, like the First 48, that have demonstrated the most crucial timeframe being the first two days following a crime. That time has come and gone, and there have been no arrests made.

“Everyone is just concerned, disheartened that no one is being held (accountable for Dale’s death),” she said.

Hopes for a break in the case were heightened on the evening of July 5, when officers carried out a high profile and dramatic raid and search of the Vikings MC clubhouse in Cupids.

Police refused to link the search to the North River murder, but the Compass was able to confirm that the lead officer with the RCMP’s major crime unit in eastern Newfoundland was at the scene.

Specialists in forensics were also at the scene, and officers could be seen removing items from the clubhouse.

A service dog was also brought in to carry out a search of the property.

Police have not hidden the fact they believe the Vikings are an “outlaw” motorcycle gang, one of three in the province.


Mayor offers condolences

Meanwhile, North River Mayor Blair Hurley spoke briefly with The Compass July 15 to offer his condolences to the family.

“The only thing I can say, our thoughts are certainly with the family during this time of tragic loss,” he said.

When asked how the community was coping, Hurley politely declined comment.

He did, however, say he was confident the RCMP is “working avidly to solve the crime.”

“We just hope justice comes soon,” he added.

Porter, who was 39, was buried following a funeral service in Port de Grave on July 6.

He was a father of two young children, and worked in the fishery.

Details of his death are sketchy, and police have refused to release any information relating to a post-mortem.

Sources have confirmed that Porter and several others were at the Coach House nightclub in Bay Roberts until the early hours. A man who spoke with Porter that morning said Porter seemed in good spirits and was having a good time.

Porter and three others, sources say, were transported home in a taxi. When a second cab arrived a short time later carrying another group of friends, Porter was found in the driveway, bleeding and clearly injured.

He later died in hospital.

The incident sent shockwaves throughout the region, and caused a sense of unease as residents wondered if there was a threat to public safety.

Several days later, an RCMP statement offered assurances that public safety was not at risk because of the homicide.

For several days after Porter’s death, searchers combed the area near his house, apparently searching for evidence linked to the murder.


RCMP response

The Compass emailed a series of questions to the RCMP this week, seeking an update on the case, but Merrill would only offer the following response:

“We appreciate your inquiries but we are not being any more specific on this investigation at this time. It is vital that we preserve our investigation, which includes controlling what information is released.

“All involved in this file are aware of the many media questions and will do our best to release further information when appropriate.”