Ottawa man Justin “Milky” Duncan, 23, went missing in Thunder Bay in the early hours of Nov. 22, 2016.
A jealous ex-lover and his crony on a mission. A fatal shooting that sparked a chain reaction. The lure of the northern drug trade and two partners torn apart by secrets.And now, four counts of first-degree murder stayed.They were known as the “Ottawa Crew,” a group of men who travelled from the capital north to Thunder Bay, set on making money and, for some, fleeing the heat of a murder probe. One would end up dead. The others charged with killing him.Justin “Milky” Duncan, 23, of Ottawa was last seen in the early morning hours of Nov. 22, 2016, near a housing complex on Limbrick Street, a 700-metre long road in Thunder Bay. He moved north earlier in the month to join the others in the crew. As police probed his disappearance, a theory formed that he was the victim of a calculated plot meant to silence him, allegedly carried out by men he once trusted.Months earlier, in May 2016, surveillance footage in Ottawa captured Duncan and a man believed to be Jonathan Ranger approaching, and then fleeing, the area of Farriers Lane in Blossom Park in the city’s south end, where Nicholas Kim, 30, was fatally shot in the chest and Katrina Galloway was shot in the arm and shoulder.Ottawa police believe Ranger, who has a daughter with Galloway and was associates with Kim, was in a jealous rage. Kim was in a relationship with Galloway.Within hours of the shootings, police named Ranger as their suspect, released his mug shot and asked for the public’s help in finding a man they warned was armed and dangerous. He was nowhere to be found in Ottawa. Ottawa police, to date, have never arrested or charged Ranger for the homicide.
Police handout photo of Jonathan ‘Jonny’ Ranger.
Thunder Bay police believe he showed up in their city shortly after Kim and Galloway were shot, as part of a growing group of men allegedly involved in the northern drug trade. In November 2016, just weeks before he disappeared, Duncan joined Ranger in Thunder Bay.Witnesses would tell investigators that Duncan was in what police described as an “altercation” before his disappearance. The last known moments of his life were also captured on video surveillance footage, and once again he was with a man suspected to be Ranger.That video showed Ranger, Duncan and five others exiting two vehicles after a night out at a local strip club.In October 2018, 22 months later, Thunder Bay detectives charged four men with first-degree murder for Duncan’s slaying — Ranger, Noel Perez, Emreh Ahmeti and Muhamed Alhasi — all originally from Ottawa. Duncan’s body, despite exhaustive searches of northern regions, has never been found.Last month, on June 26, eight months after they were laid, the Crown in Thunder Bay stayed each first-degree murder charge against every accused, but the reasons why remain unknown.When criminal charges are withdrawn after a lengthy investigation any number of reasons could be factors — cooperation of witnesses, issues with evidence, problems with police tactics — that would lead prosecutors to believe there is no reasonable prospect of conviction.The lead police detective in Thunder Bay and the regional Crown Attorney who stayed the charges did not return this newspaper’s request for comment.Ranger remains in custody after being convicted of unrelated gun and drug offences believed to have been racked up as part of his work with the Ottawa Crew.It’s unclear what, if anything, the collapse of one homicide case, built on the other being its motive, means.Staff Sgt. Bruce Pirt of the Ottawa major crime unit would not speak to any links between the homicide cases but said that police in Ottawa, for their part, continue to investigate Kim’s fatal email@example.com/shaaminiwhy ALSO IN THE NEWS:Gatineau police searching for missing man recovering from strokeOne person displaced by fire in Greenboro rowhouseOttawa construction company fined $70K after worker struck while exiting portable toilet